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Higher Education Management and Policy

Institutional Management in Higher Education

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Previously published as Higher Education Management, Higher Education Management and Policy (HEMP) is published three times each year and is edited by the OECD’s Programme on Institutional Management in Higher Education. It covers the field through articles and reports on such issues as quality assurance, human resources, funding, and internationalisation. It also is a source of information on activities and events organised by OECD’s IMHE Programme.

English French

Keywords: university, policy, administration, institutional, higher, education, practical, practice, management, policies, tertiary

The Impact of League Tables and Ranking Systems on Higher Education Decision Making

Institutional Management in Higher Education

As the battle for “world class excellence” accelerates, competition for students, faculty, finance and researchers between higher education institutions, nationally and internationally, has intensified. In this environment, the results of formally and relatively benign benchmarking exercises have taken on increased prominence and importance elevating the popularity and notoriety of league tables and ranking systems. To date, critical attention has focused on assessing the methodology behind these different systems and asking whether the resultant tables provide reliable information or denote quality. In contrast, this paper examines what impact, if any, league tables and ranking systems are having on higher education institution decision making. Drawing on a comprehensive survey of higher education leaders and senior managers worldwide, the paper aims to better understand the influences on strategic and operational decision making and choices, and institutional reputation and prestige. The study raises important challenges for both institutional leaders and governments.

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