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Ten years after the first global rankings appeared, it is clear that they have had an extraordinary impact on higher education. While there are fundamental questions about whether rankings measure either quality or what’s meaningful, they have succeeded in exposing higher education to international comparison. Moreso, because of the important role higher education plays as a driver of economic development, rankings have exposed both an information deficit and national competitiveness. Accordingly, both nations and institutions have sought to maximise their position vis-á-vis global rankings with positive and perverse effects. Their legacy is evident in the way rankings have become an implicit – and often explicit – reference point for policymaking and higher education decision-making, and have reinforced an evaluative state’s over-reliance on quantitative indicators to measure quality.
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Erschienen in: Beiträge zur Hochschulforschung 2 | 2013