Magazine Reitingai published new ratings of higher education establishments. This year the ISM University of Management and Economics was once again ranked the best non-state financed university boasting the most stable growth, with LCC International University and European Humanitarian University ranked second and third respectively.
Magazine Reitingai ranked universities based on 65 various parameters, which were grouped under 7 major criteria. The ranking mainly focussed on research, artistic and sports activities, including staff achievements, current and future academic staff, value added created by alumnae, employers’ assessment, competitiveness on the international arena, quality of studies, science and study environment, including students’ assessment of their educational establishment.
Two criteria were of utmost importance in terms of university ranking, that is, research and value added created by alumnae. This year the research and artistic activities of Lithuanian universities were assessed based on the newest calculations made by the Research Council of Lithuania (RCL) in respective areas.
Meets employers’ needs
The sociological survey performed as part of the university ranking was carried out by research company Prime Consulting. Sociologists interviewed employers about the preparedness of university graduates for the labour market and asked them to name an establishment of higher education that they would recommend to their children. As many as 1,015 employers representing different regions in Lithuania were surveyed.
The survey showed that the ISM university was among the educational establishments which the employers tended to recommend to their children most often. Moreover, ISM was among the three universities (both financed from the state budget and non-state financed) which were ranked the best by CEOs.
Most employers ranked the ISM university graduates among the alumnae who meet their needs best.
According to Saulius Olencevičius, head of research company Prime Consulting, the opinion of the surveyed employers about the graduates of higher education establishments could have been determined by their own experience, which is based on the impression that the students have been making on the labour market for quite some time by now. The impression is what determines the employers’ expectations when hiring alumnae of a particular higher education establishment.
No problems on the labour market
Two more parameters that help assess the value added created by alumnae were calculated based on the Lithuanian Labour Exchange data showing the number of university graduates that were unemployed nine months after graduating from their studies and registered with the labour exchange.
Respective comparisons with other universities showed that the ISM graduates had the least problems finding employment within nine months of graduation. According to the labour exchange data, the share of the ISM alumnae who had no job nine months after graduation was the smallest among all university graduates registered with the labour exchange and amounted to 1.2%.
Gintaras Sarafinas, editor-in-chief of the magazine Reitingai, emphasised that ISM, VU, KTU and VGTU alumnae head more than ¾ of all companies in Lithuania. Most of the influential politicians in Lithuania are also graduates of one of the aforementioned universities.
Students take part in evaluation too
Prime Consulting surveyed over 2,200 third-year students representing different universities. The students were asked to assess their own higher education establishment and to share their opinion about the research and study environment there.
The surveyed students were offered an opportunity to both name what they like most about their university and to identify areas for improvement. Mr Olencevičius explained that this year only third-year students were surveyed because they have already spent several years at the same university and are able to give a rather objective assessment of their studies and explicitly name the areas that require change.
The results of student survey showed that the ISM university was ranked the best among non-state funded universities in terms of student assessment. Students were especially positive about the research and study environment.
According to the data provided by magazine Reitingai, the criterion describing the type of students studying in each of the ranked universities, including the terms and conditions of their studies, shows that the biggest number of gifted students who graduated from schools with the average Matura examination grade ranging between 88 and 100 got enrolled with the ISM university (in the category of private universities), where the number of such students amounts to 36.3%.
The ISM university stands out among other private universities in Lithuania in that it has been granted the right to take PhD students. The only other non-state funded university which has been granted the same right is the European Humanitarian University.
Based on information provided by magazine Reitingai