(22 Mar 2021) University rankings are imbued with great significance by university staff and leadership teams and the outcomes of their ranking systems can have significant material consequences. Drawing on a curious example from their own institution, Jelena Brankovic argues that taking rankings as proxies for quality or performance in a linear-causal fashion is a fundamentally ill-conceived way of understanding the value of a university, in particular, when publicly embraced by none other than scholars themselves.
“What I wish to do, instead, is to draw attention to a highly problematic assumption which many in academia seem to subscribe to: the assumption that there is, or that there could possibly be, a meaningful relationship between a ranking, on the one hand, and, what a university is and does in comparison to others, on the other.
I will start by telling a story that involves my own university and I will conclude with a more general argument about why publicly endorsing rankings does a disservice to the academia.”
Read the full story from LSE Impact Blog here.