The UOC is coordinating a research project to promote the recognition of online higher education in university rankings

Rubn Permuy
This is to give online institutions the same status as on-site institutions

University rankings are often published by the media. But what criteria do the media usually adopt in order to rank the institutions? Do they consider the special circumstances of online universities? To answer these questions, among others, the UOC is coordinating the European research project Creating an Online Dimension for University Rankings (CODUR).

Albert Sangr – from the Education and ICT research group (Edul@b) and the Academic Director of the UNESCO Chair in Education and Technology for Social Change – is coordinating a project on behalf of the UOC to encourage university rankings to use the same criteria for evaluating the quality of both on-site and online institutions. Sangr points out that with this project, “the UOC and the Open University – as global leaders in online education – will be jointly responsible for creating and validating a dimension of indicators for online higher education that can be used in the different rankings of universities and will allow them to enhance their reputation”.

According to the researchers of the project, at present the most important tool for positioning universities in the global market are ranking systems which, despite receiving much criticism, are well-established. The aim of CODUR is for such rankings to include all online institutions. The researchers also point out that the creation of indicators to measure quality in online education would promote the recognition of this sphere of learning and would allow students to access high-quality online higher education. CODUR concludes that the good reputation of online education would allow more competition among universities and more options for students.


CODUR is being funded by the EU Erasmus+ programme. Participating in this UOC-led project are the Open University of the United Kingdom and the Italian Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR). From the UOC, in addition to Albert Sangr, other participants include Nati Cabrera and Montse Guitert, from the research group Edul@b; Joan Antoni Pastor, from the Information and Communication Systems and Services (ICSS) group; and director Maria Taulats and Lidia Toda, from Planning and Quality.

The project was launched in Barcelona on 15 November 2016, and will be completed in 2018.

Funded by Erasmus+ of the European Union