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.