Influence of University Rankings

Influence of University Rankings

Author: Veronika Belusa

The European University Association (EUA) has summarized the results of a two and a half year project exploring the impact and influence of rankings on European higher education institutions in a recent report. This first pan-European survey included an online survey which gathered 171 responses of higher education institutions in 39 countries, a series of site visits, and a roundtable discussion with senior university managers and stakeholders.

60 % of the respondents said that rankings play a part in their institutional strategy, 39 % have used rankings to inform strategic, organizational, managerial, or academic actions, another 30 % plan to do so. In summary, the report recommends using rankings as one ingredient in strategic planning, but universities should stick to their missions and should not let themselves become “diverted or mesmerized” by rankings. Universities should, e.g., not use rankings to inform resource allocation decisions.

It is important that institutions themselves provide meaningful, comparative high-quality information about their performance to underpin strategic planning and decision-making and to inform the public. In general, cross-national comparisons are an unavoidable by-product of globalization and will intensify in the future.

Full report:


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