New report: Dubious ranking of universities

01.03.2006
Sverker Lindblad and Mats Cavallin at Göteborg University raise doubt on the international ranking of universities. "It is a problem that persons with limited knowledge about the rankings jump to the conclusion that one university is the best in the world", says Lindblad.
The report (Världsmästerskap i vetenskap: om internationell ranking av universitet) questions the increasingly popular rankings of universities worldwide. Among the factors that make these rankings so dubious, the authors mention:
  • predominance of American or other anglo-saxon universities
  • uneven attention to different academic fields, where science, technology and medicine are favoured because of their tradition of publishing journal articles instead of books
  • the rankings are partly based on information from private companies
The authors also react to the fact that the rankings might weaken the pluralism and discussions that are at the very core of scientific work, in the way that the universities might change their systems in order to get better results in rankings.


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