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Analysis and Comment (10)

In third place, Oxford University is the top UK institution in the World University Rankings 2014-15. In third place, Oxford University is the top UK institution in the World University Rankings 2014-15. Andrew Matthews/PA Archive

What do world university rankings actually mean?

From the “best beaches” to the “best slice of pizza” to the best hospital to have cardiac surgery in, we are inundated with a seemingly never-ending series of reports ranking everything that can be ranked…
Still the rising star. Three Chinese universities are now in the top 200. Still the rising star. Three Chinese universities are now in the top 200. Wu Hong/EPA

Asian universities continue their upward climb in global rankings

Asian universities continue to stun the academic world. In just one year, four more have joined the ranks of the world’s top 200 universities. Now, almost one eighth of the world’s top 200 universities…
University of Newcastle Vice-Chancellor Caroline McMillen says the government should look at the evidence before implementing the Commission of Audit’s recommendation to deregulate university fees. University of Newcastle Vice-Chancellor Caroline McMillen says the government should look at the evidence before implementing the Commission of Audit’s recommendation to deregulate university fees. Supplied

The government should think hard before deregulating university fees

The National Commission of Audit released yesterday has made a recommendation to government in line with proposals from some Group of Eight vice-chancellors that university fees should be deregulated…
Academics are accused of not contributing enough to society, but universities don’t value community and digital activities that get them out of their ivory towers. Academics are accused of not contributing enough to society, but universities don’t value community and digital activities that get them out of their ivory towers. Shutterstock

University metrics keep academics in their ivory towers

Perhaps we should excuse comments made during the 2013 federal election about “wasteful” and “increasingly ridiculous research” undertaken in Australia. The real shock was not that shadow ministers could…
Each time a new ranking is released, universities and rankers dance the international higher education two-step. Each time a new ranking is released, universities and rankers dance the international higher education two-step. Dance image from www.shutterstock.com

The ritual dance of university rankings

Whenever an unfavourable political opinion poll comes out, you can count on one thing: at least one politician saying they never pay attention to polls. And so it goes for university leaders when the results…
A prize for everyone in rankings season. A prize for everyone in rankings season. RichardTurnerPhotography

What rankings don’t tell you about university excellence

Autumn is the season for university rankings. We’ve already had the the Academic Ranking of World Universities, produced in Shanghai, the QS ranking and the Leiden Ranking. Now the Times Higher Education…
Teaching skills: 5, Lab facilities: 3. This is no way to choose a university. Teaching skills: 5, Lab facilities: 3. This is no way to choose a university. stevedotcarter

Don’t fall into the rankings trap when assessing a university

The idea that we should audit universities is, in many respects, a good one. It can be used to keep them accountable and it can be a driver of change. University rankings – such as those offered by Times…
Older universities are at a clear advantage in certain rankings – Monash University’s Vice-Chancellor Ed Byrne explains why. Older universities are at a clear advantage in certain rankings – Monash University’s Vice-Chancellor Ed Byrne explains why. University image from www.shutterstock.com

Asian century goal relies on unjust rankings for universities

The Asian century white paper – released this week – presents a clear vision for the role of Australian universities in building links with Asia. To underscore this, the government announced a new target…
Ranking universities is useful for only understanding the bigger picture. Ranking universities is useful for only understanding the bigger picture. University image from www.shutterstock.com

Limited numbers: what university rankings can (and can’t) tell us

The release of The Times Higher Education World University Rankings will be welcomed by many people in the Australian university sector. See the full list of The Times Higher Education World University…
The measurement of many dimensions is sometimes reduced to a single value. The measurement of many dimensions is sometimes reduced to a single value. Julie Magro

Made to measure? Why university rankings are flawed

An unwritten law has emerged in both the sciences and social sciences – that it is better to measure than not to measure. Perhaps our affinity to measurement is attributable to Galileo who is purported…

Research and News (8)