Scholars in the Netherlands deal with the Saudi University in a “very bad” way.

Robert Dijkraf, Minister of Education, Culture and Science, in Binnenhof before the weekly cabinet meeting.ANP image

Dijkgraaf (Education, Culture, and Science) says with these deals, “the researchers have failed the Dutch universities, who are their real employers,” and trust in science is undermined.

Minister reacts on news De Volkskrant King Saud University of Saudi Arabia is reaching out to leading scholars with offers to list the university as the main employer. As a result, King Saud University rose in the most important ranking of universities, the Shanghai Ranking.

In the Netherlands, two scientists strike a deal De Volkskrant Saturday. At least three others have received a similar offer but declined.

Dijkgraaf: Talk to the scientists

According to Dijkgraaf (D66), Dutch universities should be wary of these kinds of deals, which the minister describes as “selling academic integrity for money”. Universities should hold researchers accountable for this.

One of the deals was concluded with a professor at Wageningen University and Research (WUR). He maintains that he modified his main employer so that KSU rose in the Shanghai rankings, but claims that the money went to WUR. WUR cannot confirm this and has launched an investigation. “If Wagengen scholars had indeed changed their primary affiliation with KSU, we would distance ourselves from that.”

Universities attach great importance to the Shanghai ranking. Their place in it is often seen as a show of enterprise. This place depends on several factors, such as the number of Nobel Prize winners presented by the institute, and the number of publications in leading journals such as Sciences And natureand the number of researchers who made it to the list of more than 7,000 cited researchers.

If a scientist on that list changes their primary employer to another university, that could move that university up 200 places in the ranking.

The arrangement is weak

Attempts by Saudi universities to manipulate Shanghai’s ranking have been going on for more than a decade using various tactics. For more than a decade, more than 60 top scholars have listed the university as their second employer for paying tens of thousands of dollars, which scores points in the rankings.

The result: Since 2015, only its inclusion as the first employer to earn university points in the ranking. But the Saudis have also managed to get around this adjustment in recent years.

‘The rankings again appear to be poor in providing a good picture of the quality of the universities and researchers,’ writes Dijkraf, who is also university professor of theoretical physics at the University of Amsterdam (UvA) and former director of the prestigious Research Institute. Institute in Princeton (USA). “Cases like this once again underscore the importance of transparency from universities and scholars when it comes to their funding and interests.”

See also  What are healthy meat alternatives?

Megan Vasquez

"Creator. Coffee buff. Internet lover. Organizer. Pop culture geek. Tv fan. Proud foodaholic."

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *