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Compare and contrast the methodology of three international university ranking systems and suggest the ranking system which offers the best analysis of university quality - Essay Example

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University rankings can be defined as tables of specific groups of institutions relatively ranked according to a mutual set of pointers in descending order (Usher & Savino, 2007). There has been a recent increase in the popularity of the league tables worldwide due to the desire…
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Compare and contrast the methodology of three international university ranking systems and suggest the ranking system which offers the best analysis of university quality

The essay will start off with a definition of the university league tables and how they work, reasons for their popularity and the substantial growth in their use over the past years. Next, it will explore various areas in relation with the league tables such as critical analysis of the three ranking systems to gauge their strengths and weaknesses, debate on the evidentiary basis of league tables to explain the criteria upon which the universities are ranked and criticism as well as the limitations to the validity of university ranking systems. Lastly, it will single out the methodology that stands out.
The world is in the process of getting preoccupied with rankings more and more every day. Just like scarcity, having access to the ‘finest’ as well as prestige more or less mark the purchase of almost every commodity in our daily lives, so are the customers of the tertiary sector continuously looking out for pointers that improve their capability to know and access the best in the tertiary sector (Salmi & Saroyan, 2007).
Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU) rankings were formulated in 1998 and were more formally known as ‘The Academic Rankings of the World Universities’ (ARWU). Universities that have field medallists; highly cited researchers as well as Nobel laureates are included in the ranking. According to this criterion, ARWU is not trying to compare all the universities throughout the world; instead it is targeting the world’s top research universities only. ARWU initially picks out around 1000 universities from throughout the world, of which only 500 are later on ranked in the league tables. For all ARWU indicators, data is usually collected from third parties that include the official site of the Nobel Prize as well as numerous Thomson Reuters websites in order to access citation and publications (Rauhvargers, 2011).
Moving on to ‘The Times higher ... Read More
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