The Global Academic Rankings Game : Changing Institutional Policy, Practice, and Academic Life book cover
1st Edition

The Global Academic Rankings Game
Changing Institutional Policy, Practice, and Academic Life

ISBN 9781138935792
Published March 14, 2016 by Routledge
324 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

The Global Academic Rankings Game provides a much-needed perspective on how countries and universities react to academic rankings. Based on a unified case methodology of eleven key countries and academic institutions, this comprehensive volume provides expert analysis on this emerging phenomenon at a time when world rankings are becoming increasingly visible and influential on the international stage. Each chapter provides an overview of government and national policies as well as an in-depth examination of the impact that rankings have played on policy, practice, and academic life in Australia, Chile, China, Germany, Malaysia, the Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The Global Academic Rankings Game contributes to the continuing debate about the influence of rankings in higher education and is an invaluable resource for higher education scholars and administrators as they tackle rankings in their own national and institutional contexts.

Table of Contents



Chapter 1. Global University Rankings as the ‘Olympic Games’ of Higher Education: Citius, altius, fortius?

Maria Yudkevich, Philip G. Altbach, and Laura E. Rumbley

Chapter 2. Managing Expectations – An Australian Perspective on the Impact and Challenges of Adopting a University Rankings Narrative

Tony Sheil

Chapter 3. Global university rankings from afar: The case of the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile

Andrés Bernasconi and Daniela Véliz

Chapter 4. Global Rankings and World-class University Aspirations in China

Bie Dunrong

Chapter 5. Embracing and Rejecting Rankings: The German Case

Barbara M. Kehm

Chapter 6. Imposing Global University Rankings on Local Academic Culture:  Insights from the National University of Malaysia

Norzaini Azman and Faridah Mydin Kutty

Chapter 7. Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam: Second Among Equals in the Netherlands?

Kees Kouwenaar

Chapter 8. Global University Rankings in the Polish Context: The University of Warsaw, a Case Study

Marek Kwiek

Chapter 9. The Ranking Game on the Russian Battlefield: The Case of the Higher School of Economics

Ivan Pavlyutkin and Maria Yudkevich

Chapter 10. Middle East Technical University: Quest for Academic Excellence not Driven by Global Rankings at one Turkish Institution

Kemal Gürüz

Chapter 11. "There is a World out There We Can Step Into": The University of Reading (UK) and the World Rankings

William Locke

Chapter 12. Meeting the Rankings Challenge: How a Young American University Enhances its Global Position

Peter N. Stearns and Kris M. Smith

Chapter 13. Globalization and the Continuing Influence of Rankings on Higher Education: Positive and Perverse

Ellen Hazelkorn

About the Contributors




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Maria Yudkevich is Vice-Rector of the National Research University Higher School of Economics (HSE), and Associate Professor of Economics and a Director at the Center for Institutional Studies at HSE, Russia.

Philip G. Altbach is Research Professor and Founding Director of the Center for International Higher Education in the Lynch School of Education at Boston College, USA.

Laura E. Rumbley is Associate Director of the Center for International Higher Education and Lecturer in Higher Education Administration at Boston College, USA.


"Altbach, Yudkevich and Rumbley have produced one of the few books on higher education that will be used around the world. They shift the focus to the large group of institutions that are struggling to build resources and reputation. Both the successes and failures have something to teach us, and university leaders will find these case studies accessible and very helpful."

—Simon Marginson, Director of the ESRC/HEFCE Centre of Global Higher Education at University College London and Joint Editor-in-Chief of Higher Education  

"It is often said that whether you love them or hate them, rankings are here to stay. This new volume goes a step beyond to carefully examine the impact of rankings on eleven institutions around the world. What emerges is a much more nuanced space between love and hate that evinces the power of rankings on government policy and institutional practice."

--Patti McGill Peterson, Presidential Advisor for Global Initiatives, American Council on Education

"This well-researched and important book brings together an impressive group of renowned academics who prepared relevant and timely case-studies of how universities position themselves in a world where policy-makers increasingly use rankings as proxies of performance. Professors Altbach, Yudkevich and Rumbley should be congratulated for this excellent contribution that offers invaluable insights into the impact of global rankings on national policy and university behavior."

--Jamil Salmi, Global Tertiary Education Expert