An Empirical Investigation of Disciplinary Bias in World-Class University Rankings
Quality Management for Responsible Higher Education
Victor Borden, Alexander McCormick
Single presentation - 30 Minutes
World-class university rankings and surrounding phenomena related to the globalization of higher education have put pressures on governments and institutions to develop in a specific way: toward concentrating excellence in fewer institutions and in disciplines that best contribute toward the measures upon which the rankings are based (Salmi, 2009). This paper analyzes the relationship between disciplinary program mix and rankings. Cluster analytic techniques are employed using detailed degree completion data available through the U.S. federal government’s higher education data collection system (IPEDS) to identify program mix profiles at U.S. research universities. We then explore the associations between these profiles and rankings, as well as whether changes in ranking performance are associated with changes in program mix and emphasis.