(30 Apr 2022) Rankings may have started life as an information tool for the global era of higher education. But today they are principally a mechanism to collect and monetize data.
As one ranker said to me: “Rankings themselves cannot make money; one has to find funding or make money to support ranking activities.” No wonder THE describes itself in its accompanying press releases as first and foremost a “trusted data partner to global higher education”.
Until recently, too little attention has focused on rankings as a business – and the increasing integration between rankings, publishing and data analytics as detailed by George Chen and Leslie Chan.
The global higher education intelligence business has created “vast data lakes” containing “triple-digit billions of data elements”. Owning data-rich resources, as well as the smart tools to capture and interpret them, is where the real money and power lies.
Ellen Hazelkorn has shared her thoughts on University World News here.