Will Ranking System Be Abandoned Everywhere?

  • For many years, ranking ruled the education world, in the U.S. and everywhere. To get a better spot in existing ranking systems run mainly by private entities, colleges would invest into infrastructure, construct posh athletic and student centers, misrepresent the numbers “by twisting the meanings of rules, cherry-picking data or just lying”:
  • In an attempt to shake up this system, in 2013 President Obama requested to  create a government rating system which would  rate all 7,000 colleges and universities on metrics like graduation rate, amount of debt accumulated by students and earnings after graduating, among other data. These ratings would be used to allocate the federal grants and loans ($150 billion each year). The college presidents  bitterly opposed it:  “wrongheaded”, radical, “uncharacteristically clueless”, etc.
  • With this initiative still in works, last Saturday, Sept.11, the White House abandoned this two-year plan and released a huge new federal database, with raw data instead of explicit rating: a new College Scorecard. This is a revamped  tool which links a huge database of the receivers of Pell Grants or loans since 1996 and their income tax records and gives a clear picture of earnings progress:  (see this part of data  in a simple graph):

earnings after school


Read More

Is college worth it? A huge new federal database reveals the answer depends on the college – Vox

With Website to Research College, Obama Abandons Ranking System – The New York Times

Obama’s New College Scorecard Flop the Focus Rankings – The Atlantic

New University Ranking “U-Multirank” raises doubts among experts


U-Multirank is a brand-new international university ranking supported by the European Commission. It formally aims to provide greater transparency within the Higher Education system, as well as it allows users to construct their own comparative tables according to some criteria. However, the ranking is facing much criticism in the very beginning of its life.

With regard to the process of data collection, experts point out its lack of reliability as only 517 campuses out of 879 filled and returned the required reports. That implies that too often the Center for Higher Education and the University of Twente (both responsible for the new Ranking) had to gather data themselves from websites and other official sources. That leads many experts to think that the project has been done in a hurry and therefore lacks the required quality to be taken seriously.

Others cast doubt on the content, as some indicators might have been selected arbitrarily, with no explicit reason, what appears more serious if we take into account that some variables are not homogenous among countries. And then, we find two opposite views: on the one hand, some experts criticize the ranking for not providing a global indicator; on the other hand, some others claim it is too reductionist and could lead to wrong education policies in the future.

Read more:

New International University Ranking Aims to Offer a More Nuanced Approach

El Nuevo “ranking” europeo de universidades nace con agujeros