Global Rankings of Universities: A perverse and Present Burden in Whose Interests are we Serving? Global Inequalities and Higher Education

While national rankings of universities have existed for some decades, in recent years the phenomenon of the global rankings of universities has come into prominence. The Times Higher Education-Quacquarelli Symonds (THE-QS) ‘World University Rankings’ and the Shanghai Jiao Tong Institute of Higher Education’s (SJTIHE) ‘Academic Ranking of World Universities’ are the best known of such rankings.

This paper engages with the phenomenon of global rankings from the perspective of higher education in the global South and informed by a particular conception of universities and higher education. It addresses five issues: what credence should be given to rankings; the value of rankings; what is at stake in terms of educational and social purposes; the social determinants of rankings, and the future of rankings.

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