1st Edition

Global Rankings and the Geopolitics of Higher Education Understanding the influence and impact of rankings on higher education, policy and society

Edited By Ellen Hazelkorn Copyright 2017
    372 Pages 11 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    372 Pages 11 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Global rankings and the Geopolitics of Higher Education is an examination of the impact and influence that university rankings have had on higher education, policy and public opinion in recent years. Bringing together some of the most informed authorities on this very complex issue, this edited collection of specially commissioned chapters examines the changes affecting higher education and the implications for society and the economy.

    Split into four interrelated sections, this book covers:

    • The development of rankings in higher education, how they have impacted upon both the production of knowledge and its geography, and their influence in shaping policymaking.
    • Overviews of the significance of rankings for higher education systems in Europe, Asia, Africa, Russia, South America, India and North America.
    • An analysis of rankings in relation to key concerns that pervade contemporary higher education.
    • Examination of the role rankings are likely to play in the future directions for higher education.

    This is a significant scholarly work that analyses in depth an important development in higher education systems, and which is likely to have an important influence upon how we understand the higher education policy-making process – past, present and future. It provides new analysis and conceptual understanding for researchers, and firm evidence for policy makers to use when addressing the value of rankings in measuring the quality of their institutions. Besides bringing together a powerful cast of academics, this book incorporates contributions from heads of important international higher education organisations – from both those involved in making and also in administering key decisions.

    This timely, reflective and accessible book forms crucial reading for those studying the subject of rankings, as well as the broader implications and unintended consequences of rankings on national higher education policies. Extending beyond academic researchers and students, this book will also be of significant interest to policymakers, higher education leaders and key stakeholders.

    1. Introduction. The Geopolitics of Rankings: Critique – How Did We Get Here and What Have We Learned 2. A Short Global History of Rankings 3. Rankings as Global (Monetising) Scopic Systems 4. The Dilemma of University Rankings in Policy and Policymaking: The Malaysian Experience: Case Studies – Evidence from World Regions 5. Europe: The Impact and Influence of Rankings in European Higher Education 6. Asia: Catch-Up and Identity: Developments in and Impacts of University Rankings in East Asia 7. Rankings in Africa: Important, Interesting, Irritating, or Irrelevant? 8. Russia: Ranking Fever: Do We Know the Remedy? 9. Latin American Higher Education, Universities, and Worldwide Rankings. The New Conquest? 10. India, Rankings, Mass Higher Education, and World-Class Universities 11. Rankings in North America (US and Canada): Choices and Policy Trade-Offs 12. The Intersection of Rankings with University Quality, Public Accountability, and Institutional Improvement 13. Excellence Strategies and World-Class Universities 14. Do Global University Rankings Drive Convergence? Evidence from the Nordic Region 15. Rankings, Higher Education Internationalisation and National Strategies: Trade-Offs, Policy Levers, and (Un)Intended Outcomes: Future Directions for Higher Education 16. Reporting Alternatives: Future Transparency Mechanisms for Higher Education 17. Between Massification and Globalisation: Is there a Role for Global University Rankings? 18. The Geopolitics of the Education Market 19. The Quest for Quality and the Role, Impact and Influence of Supra-national Organisations


    Ellen Hazelkorn is Policy Advisor to the Higher Education Authority (HEA), and Director of the Higher Education Policy Research Unit (HEPRU), Dublin Institute of Technology, Ireland. She is also a member, Advisory Board and Management Committee, and International Co-Investigator, Centre for Global Higher Education, Institute of Education, University College London.