Statement on Global Rankings

The United Nations University International Institute for Global Health has just published a report on global university rankings prepared by an International Exprts Group composed mainly of academics and administrators. The statement focuses on “the longest-operating and the most influential ones”, specifically those produced by Quacquarelli Symonds, Times Higher Education, the ShanghaiRanking Consultancy and the US News.

The report asserts that rankings are a problem for the following reasons:

  • The conceptual foundations are invalid
  • The data is flawed and lacks transparency
  • They are biased towards research, STEM subjects, and English-speaking institutions
  • They perpetuate inequality
  • They undermine the development of higher education
  • They encourage university to adopt short-term policy approaches
  • They encourage an excessive and harmful concern for reputation
  • They lead institutions to invest effort and resources in the production of data
  • The absence of transparency and accountability is responsible for pervasive conflict of interest.



United Nations University International Institute for Global Health

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