Tomorrow’s that day that many university leaders dread. Have they gone up in the rankings or not? For some, rankings may even determine whether they will receive their bonuses or not. But most of all it’s the day for your Vice Chancellor or university president to criticize league tables even though secretly it’s the first thing he or she will check in the morning…

rankingslogo Yes, it’s time for the fifth edition of the Times Higher Education World University Ranking of 2008. Quacquarelli Symonds Ltd, the company responsible for the ranking, claims (again) that the methodology is improved. They are even so blunt to say that ‘the rankings have established themselves as an accepted benchmark of quality’. I beg to differ

One issue at least seems to be resolved, that is the volatility of the THE ranking (compared for instance with the relatively stable Shanghai Ranking):

The final results will see more countries represented among the top 200 institutions, with Continental Europe beginning to make more of a mark than in previous editions. But there will be less volatility this year, thanks to the change in statistical methodology introduced in 2007. Single outliers no longer have a disproportionate effect on the overall ranking.

The world university ranking will be published here and here tomorrow morning…

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  1. Pingback: Higher education policy-making, stake-holder democracy and the economics of attention « GlobalHigherEd

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