Engineering the global university rankings

Gold standards, limitations and implications

Maxime Mussard, Alex Pappachen James

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Global University ranking tables influence students and public opinion perceptions and the overall reputations of universities among an international audience. In this paper, the credibility of such ranking tables is questioned based on the tendency of ranking systems to promote questionable universities, documented instances of ethical misconduct, and inconsistencies between different ranking tables. The findings are validated using the Academic Ranking of World Universities (or Shanghai ranking), the QS University ranking, and the THE World University ranking, which are considered the golden standards today among Global University ranking tables. Inconsistencies between ranking tables with respect to parameters used in analysis and validation are pointed out. Furthermore, it is shown that all three ranking tables can be gamed by universities to get a high ranking using parameters that do not capture the wide spectrum of characteristics that reflect academic excellence in research, teaching, and services.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6765-6776
Number of pages12
JournalIEEE Access
Volume6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 4 2018

Fingerprint

Teaching
Students

Keywords

  • Academic ethics
  • ARWU
  • QS University ranking
  • Ranking metrics
  • Shanghai ranking
  • THE World University ranking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Engineering(all)

Cite this

Engineering the global university rankings : Gold standards, limitations and implications. / Mussard, Maxime; James, Alex Pappachen.

In: IEEE Access, Vol. 6, 04.01.2018, p. 6765-6776.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{49661a42fa534903aef08d3cef6cfc7a,
title = "Engineering the global university rankings: Gold standards, limitations and implications",
abstract = "Global University ranking tables influence students and public opinion perceptions and the overall reputations of universities among an international audience. In this paper, the credibility of such ranking tables is questioned based on the tendency of ranking systems to promote questionable universities, documented instances of ethical misconduct, and inconsistencies between different ranking tables. The findings are validated using the Academic Ranking of World Universities (or Shanghai ranking), the QS University ranking, and the THE World University ranking, which are considered the golden standards today among Global University ranking tables. Inconsistencies between ranking tables with respect to parameters used in analysis and validation are pointed out. Furthermore, it is shown that all three ranking tables can be gamed by universities to get a high ranking using parameters that do not capture the wide spectrum of characteristics that reflect academic excellence in research, teaching, and services.",
keywords = "Academic ethics, ARWU, QS University ranking, Ranking metrics, Shanghai ranking, THE World University ranking",
author = "Maxime Mussard and James, {Alex Pappachen}",
year = "2018",
month = "1",
day = "4",
doi = "10.1109/ACCESS.2017.2789326",
language = "English",
volume = "6",
pages = "6765--6776",
journal = "IEEE Access",
issn = "2169-3536",
publisher = "Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Engineering the global university rankings

T2 - Gold standards, limitations and implications

AU - Mussard, Maxime

AU - James, Alex Pappachen

PY - 2018/1/4

Y1 - 2018/1/4

N2 - Global University ranking tables influence students and public opinion perceptions and the overall reputations of universities among an international audience. In this paper, the credibility of such ranking tables is questioned based on the tendency of ranking systems to promote questionable universities, documented instances of ethical misconduct, and inconsistencies between different ranking tables. The findings are validated using the Academic Ranking of World Universities (or Shanghai ranking), the QS University ranking, and the THE World University ranking, which are considered the golden standards today among Global University ranking tables. Inconsistencies between ranking tables with respect to parameters used in analysis and validation are pointed out. Furthermore, it is shown that all three ranking tables can be gamed by universities to get a high ranking using parameters that do not capture the wide spectrum of characteristics that reflect academic excellence in research, teaching, and services.

AB - Global University ranking tables influence students and public opinion perceptions and the overall reputations of universities among an international audience. In this paper, the credibility of such ranking tables is questioned based on the tendency of ranking systems to promote questionable universities, documented instances of ethical misconduct, and inconsistencies between different ranking tables. The findings are validated using the Academic Ranking of World Universities (or Shanghai ranking), the QS University ranking, and the THE World University ranking, which are considered the golden standards today among Global University ranking tables. Inconsistencies between ranking tables with respect to parameters used in analysis and validation are pointed out. Furthermore, it is shown that all three ranking tables can be gamed by universities to get a high ranking using parameters that do not capture the wide spectrum of characteristics that reflect academic excellence in research, teaching, and services.

KW - Academic ethics

KW - ARWU

KW - QS University ranking

KW - Ranking metrics

KW - Shanghai ranking

KW - THE World University ranking

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85040601578&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85040601578&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1109/ACCESS.2017.2789326

DO - 10.1109/ACCESS.2017.2789326

M3 - Article

VL - 6

SP - 6765

EP - 6776

JO - IEEE Access

JF - IEEE Access

SN - 2169-3536

ER -