The A4U outperformed the university system as a whole, especially in terms of competitiveness and quality, output and the visibility of publications
The IUNE Observatory has published a report on the research conducted at Spanish universities between 2005 and 2014. The report measures various parameters, such as scientific output (number of papers by university, region and subject area), scientific collaboration (national and international), impact (citations by university and professor), visibility (papers published in first-quartile journals), recognition of teaching staff (based on the number of six-year productivity bonuses, or sexenios, awarded), technological innovation (measured with indicators such as the number of patents and spin-offs), competitiveness (Spanish and European competitive projects), and talent recruitment and training capacity (linked to the number of dissertations defended or Ramon y Cajal, Juan de la Cierva, research internship (FPI) and university internship (FPU) grants received).
The A4U excels in all the parameters measured. The Alliance accounted for 17% of all research output, despite having only 6% of the Spanish university system’s teaching staff. Indeed, according to Professor Elías Sanz, the coordinator of the IUNE Observatory project, at the international level, ‘The A4U’s joint output outstripped that of institutions such as the universities of Munich, Copenhagen, Pierre & Marie Curie or Bologna.’
Similarly, according to the report, the A4U accounted for 20% of the university’s system’s national collaborative output, 5% more than the system average. The quality and visibility of the output also bear witness to the Alliance’s potential, as together the partner universities account for 19% of the papers published in journals in the first quartile and 20% of the system’s ‘Top 3’ papers. Finally, the report highlights competitiveness as one of the key strengths of the A4U, which accounted for 17% of the system’s Framework and Horizon 2020 programmes and averaged 3.3 projects per 100 teachers, compared to 0.56 for the system as a whole.