A plenary from the 2017 Utrecht Conference on how academic opinions impact the rankings and the ways of influencing them, hosted by Louise Simpson, Director, the World 100.

Academics and universities know that data matters when it comes to world university rankings. As a result, tremendous effort goes into getting research in the right journals and maximizing citations. However, what is sometimes forgotten is that the biggest indicator of ranking is reputation, i.e. the opinion of published scholars and employers.

Three of the world rankings base the highest proportion of their results on reputation surveys of academics. But do academics know this, and how much effort do they put into filling out these surveys? Do they vote for their connections or the best universities? And what can universities do to ensure they are influencing others to vote for them? In this plenary, Louise explored this subject and looked at what this new World 100 research discovered.

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2017 Utrecht Conference: Day 2 Plenary 5 - Influencing the Influencers: How to Persuade Academics and Employers to Vote for You in the Rankings - Louise Simpson

Louise is an expert in higher education communications and branding, leading research for many universities and government bodies in the UK, Japan and Europe. Before becoming a consultant, she was Director of Communications at the University of Cambridge, and a commissioning editor for Reed Elsevier.

Louise has worked on a variety of major international marketing and reputation projects in Europe, the UK and Japan. She wrote the business case for the Study in Europe brand for the European Commission, which resulted in the first website aimed at international students planning to study in Europe and has just finished creating a marketing tool for the marketing of international master’s and Erasmus Mundus.

In 2007, she created the World 100 Reputation Network, now supported by 50 World 100 universities. As part of the World 100 group, Louise has visited some of the world’s best universities with members, looking at how they manage reputation.

Louise is a member of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations, has an MPhil in Reputation management in higher education, and its impact on rankings with Manchester University Business School, and a degree from the University of Cambridge.

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