18 April 2017

In recent years, there has been a massive expansion of higher education throughout the world, especially in upper-middle income countries.  At the same time, there has been an increasing diversity of providers including private institutions, international branch campuses and online providers. These developments have serious implications for the international evaluation and comparison of universities. An article by Elizabeth Redden in INSIDE HIGHER ED discusses a recent report by UNESCO that shows that the expansion of higher education has often been uneven.

She notes that while the gender gap is shrinking, low-income and indigenous students and those from ethnic minorities are still underrepresented among students and graduates.

The report found that across the world a fifth of the richest 25- to 29-year-olds had completed four years of tertiary education but the figures for those from poor families was much lower. The disparity was especially high in Asian countries such as Mongolia and the Philippines.

In some countries, there are still very wide ethnic and social gaps. In South Africa, for example, participation rates are considerably higher for Whites and Indians than for Coloureds and Africans. In Mexico, less than one per cent of indigenous groups participate in higher education while in China there is a large gap between rural and urban youths.

The UNESCO study finds that some countries such as Ecuador, Greece and Tunisia have a legal obligation to provide post-secondary education for all. Brazil prohibits discrimination in higher education and encourages access by disadvantaged groups such as indigenous peoples and Afro-Brazilians. Affirmative action policies have been introduced in India to increase participation by tribal groups, lower castes and “backward classes”.

The report concludes by proposing six recommendations including periodic policy reviews, the creation of regulatory frameworks and monitoring agencies, the development of effective equity policies, provision of financial aid to underprivileged groups, and limits to loan repayments.


IREG Initiatives

With the fast development of science and technology, as well as the internationalization of scientific activities, international academic awards have been more and more popular and influential. Numerous international academic awards have been established to provide individuals with incentives and motivation for new academic work and to reward past excellent academic accomplishments.


The purpose of the IREG Ranking Audit, conducted by independent experts, is to verify and attest that ranking under review is done professionally, with a transparent methodology, observes good practices and responds to a need for relevant information of various stakeholders, in particular students, higher education institutions, employers and policy makers.


National and international academic rankings play ever increasing role as a barometer of quality of higher education institutions. The purpose of "IREG Inventory of National Rankings" is to collect and make available on the IREG Observatory website information on the current state and scope of this important group of rankings.


The purpose of the IREG Guidelines for Stakeholders of Academic Rankings is to provide recommendations for appropriate interpretations, uses and applications of rankings by potential interested parties, including students and parents, institutions of higher education, policymakers, quality assurance and funding organizations, employers and the media. Specific recommendations have been formulated for each group of stakeholders.


File nasze_moduly/news-from-ireg/news.html does not exist or is not readable!

Members area

© 2017 IREG Observatory on Academic Ranking and Excellence