New year, new rankings season! Times Higher Education has launched its reputation survey with academics around the globe, the results of which will feed into the next THE Reputation Rankings and 2019 World University Rankings.

Invitations to take part in the THE survey are now being sent out by Elsevier to published academics. In contrast to the QS reputation survey, THE is by invitation only.

As we discovered in the World 100 research project last year, there are real opportunities for universities to influence their academics in terms of how seriously they treat the opportunity to take part in reputation surveys. The research found that many academics either ignore the invitation to take part or spend a cursory amount of time on them.

Universities can make a real difference by influencing partners in other institutions to recognise their university as a leader in their field; and in the THE survey (but not QS), you can ‘vote’ for your own institution. The W100 research also made a series of wider recommendations; now is the time to be putting those into practice.

Introducing the survey, THE ranking editor Phil Baty made a strong case. “Reputation matters,” he said. “In today’s highly competitive global academy, reputation is the currency. It is a key consideration for faculty when moving jobs, it influences the formation of new research collaborations and helps persuade philanthropists or industrial funders to invest. It is also a key consideration for international students in deciding who to invest their future with.”

All the presentations at conferences by W100 members over the years have clearly hit their mark! We couldn’t agree more.