Rankled by Rankings

Criticism of global university rankings prompts major changes and new players

Criticism of Global Rankings Prompts Major Changes and New Players 1

Miguel Medina, AFP images

Doctoral students complete their studies at U. de Paris VI, which according to controversial Shanghai-based rankings is the best university in France but ranks only 40th in the world.

International university rankings have become a major force in higher education over the past decade. Institutions now highlight their standing in their advertising campaigns. Students turn to the lists for ideas on where to apply. Some governments have even invested more in higher education when their universities' rankings don't satisfy expectations.

Yet it's hard to find anyone who believes that the assessments themselves are sufficiently substantive.

In response to growing