By Philip G Altbach and Ellen Hazelkorn
From University World News Issue No:517
The most influential global academic rankings – the highly influential Shanghai Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU), Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings and QS World University Rankings – have been in existence for more than a decade and are now a major force in shaping higher education worldwide.
- QS, THE and U-Multirank (the latter at discipline level) use faculty-student ratio. However, due to different methods by which faculty and students are classified between disciplines and within institutions and countries, this is considered a highly unreliable indicator of educational quality.
- QS, THE and U-Multirank all include a peer survey of teaching, but it is unclear on what basis anyone can evaluate someone else’s teaching without being in their classroom.
- ARWU uses Nobel Prizes or Field Medals awarded to alumni and faculty as a proxy for educational quality – which is clearly ridiculous.
THE has just launched its ‘Europe Teaching Rankings’, drawing on the experience of the Wall Street Journal/Times Higher EducationCollege Rankings. Fifty per cent of that ranking is based on its own student survey and another 10% is drawn from its academic reputational survey. It also allocates 7.5% of the final score to the number of papers published and 7.5% to the faculty-student ratio.