Abstract Higher education rankings constitute a important but controversial topic due to the methodologies applied in existing rankings and to the use being done of these interpreting their results for purposes which they were not designed for. At present there is no international ranking can responds to the needs of all users and that is methodologically sound by considering the various missions of higher education institutions, mainly due to a narrow focus on research giving less importance to other missions in which higher education institutions can excel beyond research such as teaching quality, knowledge transfer, international orientation, regional engagement etc. The European Commission is currently involved in the implementation of a new higher education ranking methodology, characterised by taking into account a diversity of missions and the diversity of existing higher education institutions. The final aim is to create a tool allowing users to choose the performance indicators of their interest and providing them with a personalised ranking according to their interests. This paper describes the motivation for designing such a tool, the principles of the methodology proposed, as well as the steps foreseen to have it ready for end users by 2014.