Global University Rankings and the Mediatization of Higher by Michelle Stack

By Michelle Stack

Higher schooling associations concurrently critique and perform nationwide and foreign scores of universities. in spite of the fact that, this creates a tough state of affairs when you consider that if universities do perform ratings they acquiesce to a process dependent in media logics that has little to do with educational norms of study. in the event that they don't perform the ratings they danger wasting public investment, scholars and donors in an more and more aggressive and globalized surroundings. This publication delves into the impression of newshounds, company tycoons and multinational companies in defining what global classification is and the way will probably be measured. scores offer us with a wealthy learn for knowing how universities outline, install and deal with their resources and liabilities in a mediatized globalized financial system.

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Global University Rankings and the Mediatization of Higher Education

Larger schooling associations at the same time critique and perform nationwide and foreign scores of universities. in spite of the fact that, this creates a tricky scenario on the grounds that if universities do perform scores they acquiesce to a process established in media logics that has little to do with educational norms of study.

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By virtue of their position, they are the dominant groups in prestigious journals as editors (56: p. 114). Rankings create boundaries of where students and faculty can go. A student who does doctoral work at a low-ranked institution is unlikely 18 Global University Rankings to get a job at a high-ranked institution. The system of ranking does not allow more than a specific number of institutions to be considered world class (57). Furthermore, reputation surveys overwhelming survey European and North American academics who are more likely to know more about universities in North America and Europe than in Asia and Africa.

Performing the branding spectacle, which calls for presenting unifying goals, is not only expensive, it requires exclusion and marginalization of some groups. As the general secretary of the university workers union opined: “More money seems to be spent on selling the idea of an education than delivering it. Students are being forced to pay more and staff are not paid enough, yet the marketing budget seems to be unaffected” (66). Branding is about gaining and maintaining product loyalty. The institution might not deliver all it promises, but members will not publicly admit this because association with the brand in and of itself is a powerful form of symbolic and frequently economic capital.

When Redden’s article was reprinted in the HES, Ben Sowter (Head of the Intelligence Division for QS) attacked the credibility of Marginson, stating he is biased because of his involvement with ARWU and THE. What is interesting is the competing use of cross-field validators. Phil Baty, a journalist, defends two academics – Simon Marginson and Philip Altbach – who are criticized as lacking impartiality given their involvement in other rankings (106). Here we see a battle for symbolic capital: Marginson has the symbolic capital of being an academic expert, but Sowter responds by arguing Marginson is really more competitor ranker than academic.

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