In an animated presentation from her new book, Global University Rankings and the Mediatization of Higher Education, our blogger Michelle L. Stack takes a student-focused approach to answer the question, “Which university rankings should you trust?”
There are at least 12 university rankings that claim to be global, and in this video Stack focuses on the big three — the Times Higher Education, QS, and the Academic Ranking of World Universities. She asks what does being a “top-ranked” university mean to students? And who decides this ranking anyway? Sometimes a ranking is just a proxy for how much money a university spends divided by the number of students. And sometimes universities game rejection rates — a a high rejection rate suggests an elite institution — to encourage students to apply just so those same students can get denied. And the rankings don’t measure other things, such as student debt, student poverty or the frequency of sexual violence on campus, all things that might matter more to students than the prestige of the future alma mater.