Objectives

Team work in a laboratory

©UNESCO/ASPnet/E. Lazovska
Team work in a laboratory

  • To improve our understanding of rankings and to analyse why they have become so widespread and their influence so strong
  • To examine the policy implications of rankings for institutions and governments
  • To present a selection of existing rankings, both global and national, examine the significant differences among these and discuss the use made of their outcomes by public authorities and private individuals
  • To look beyond rankings at existing and developing accountability tools as complementary sources of information for policy and decision-making, and student choice
  • To analyse the need for greater transparency in the context of the drive for ‘world class excellence’ and increased competition among higher education institutions, and the role of UNESCO, OECD and the World Bank in advocating for the benefits of investing in building strong, diversified and inclusive higher education systems.

Expected Outcomes

  • Increased understanding of the impact of rankings on higher education systems and institutions, public opinion and student choice nationally and internationally
  • Better access to transparent information on rankings through UNESCO’s
    clearinghouse functions
  • Improved convergences between rankings, QA assessments and other
    accountability tools 
  • Clarification of the methodology, purposes and uses of rankings of HEIs
  • Improved communication between the higher education community and the public, particularly governments, funding bodies, and potential students
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