University responses to global rankings in Asia

Date: Thursday, 21 June 2018 12:30 pm - 2:00 pm
Location: Committee Room 1, UCL Institute of Education
Speaker(s):
  • Yannie Cheung, The Chinese University of Hong Kong

Overview

This seminar will examine how Asian universities are responding to global rankings.

Fluctuations in global league tables create changes and challenges to higher education organisations. Nations herald top positions and sound sirens when university rankings fall. Reviews, reforms and rebranding are responses to boost future ranking positions.

Universities formulate strategic goals to communicate their ranking position to global, regional, and local audiences. The expansion and organisation of these goals are active responses to external classifications of global and regional excellence.

Dr Cheung will look at whether these goals are part of a competitive platform responsive to local patrons, or whether they reflect a highly institutionalised global protocol. To investigate the question, she examines formal documents of mission statements and strategic plans for data analysis. She will also conduct computer-assisted content analysis to generate a deeper understanding of higher education models.

The findings will explain how universities in Asia incorporate new sets of goals with keywords from prevalent protocols. This enables them to target specific impacts which contribute to global comparisons in university league tables. At the same time, universities in Asia are creating a new emphasis on regional and disciplinary comparisons.

The implications of Asia?s ranking models provide an alternative perspective to understand the results of global university comparisons.

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