World University Rankings: Reflections on Teaching and Learning as the Cinderella function in the South African Higher Education System

Raazia Moosa

Abstract


Within universities, a tension exists between research and teaching and learning, where research is often accorded a higher status creating a Cinderella effect by rendering teaching and learning of lesser importance. World university rankings, also referred to as global rankings, are contentious although they have become a permanent feature of the higher education (HE) system internationally (Rauhvargers 2013; Swail 2011; Altbach et al. 2009; Marginson 2007b). Lindsay (2013) argues that institutions have emphasized the importance of publications and prestige, which contribute to national and institutional reputation. Publications increase rankings thereby contributing to the lower prestige given to excellent teachers as compared to excellent researchers. This has consequently led to a decline in the attention given to teaching. Pressure exists in the HE system to play the ranking game without acknowledging that there are expertise and pockets of teaching excellence in universities. Through their performance criteria, global rankings are transforming universities into becoming similar and conforming to a single hierarchy (Marginson 2007a). In order to compete in the global HE market and improve their rankings, some universities have adopted a business model to mitigate the effects of globalisation and have begun to view themselves and higher education as a business. Global ranking systems thus have the agency either to perpetuate teaching and learning as the Cinderella function in HE, through the ranking game or to holistically focus their performance criteria on all the core functions of universities. Ethical policy decision-making in higher is thus essential.

Full Text:

PDF

References


Altbach, P.G., Reisberg, L., and Rumbley, L.E., 2009. Trends in Global Higher education: Tracking an academic revolution. A report prepared for the UNESCO 2009 World Conference on Higher Education. United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, Paris.

Altbach, P.G., 2010. Globalisation and the university: Myths and realities in an unequal world. Tertiary Education and Management 10(1), pp. 3-25.

Altbach, P.G., 2012. The Globalization of College and University Rankings, Change, January/February pp. 26-31.

Amaral, A., 2014. Where are quality frontiers moving to? In: M., Joao Rosa, and A., Amaral, ed., Quality Assurance in higher education: Contemporary debates. Springer.

Badat, S., 2010a. Global rankings of universities: A perverse and present burden. In Unterhalter, E. and Carpentier, V. 2010. Whose interests are we serving? Global inequalities and higher education. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Badat, S., 2010b. The challenges of transformation in higher education and training institutions in South Africa: Paper commissioned by the Development Bank of Southern Africa. April 2010.

Biggs, J., and Tang, C., 2011. Teaching for quality learning at university. 4th ed. Society for research into higher education and Open University Press: England.

Buela-Casal, G., Gutierrez-Martinex, O., Bermudex-Sanchez, M.P., Vadilio-Munoz, O., 2007. Comparative study of international academic rankings of universities. Scientometrics, 71(3), pp. 349-365.

Cloete, N., 2014. The South African higher education system: performance and policy. Studies in Higher Education, 39(8), pp. 1355-1368.

Council on Higher Education (CHE)., 2014. Framework for institutional quality enhancement in the second period of quality assurance: Quality Enhancement Project. Pretoria, South Africa: Council on Higher Education.

Department of Education (DoE)., 1997. White Paper 3: A programme for Higher Education Transformation. Pretoria, South Africa: Department of Higher Education and Training.

Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET)., 2013. White paper on building an expanded, effective and integrated post-school system. Pretoria, South Africa: Department of Higher Education and Training.

Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET)., 2014. Policy framework on differentiation in the South African post-school system. Pretoria, South Africa: Department of Higher Education and Training.

Dill, D. D., 2005a. Convergence and Diversity: The role and influence of university rankings. Background paper. Public Policy for Academic Quality. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hillp, Department of Public Policy, pp. 1-21. Available from http://www.unc.edu/ppaq [Accessed 4 March 2016].

Dill, D. D., and Soo, M., 2005b. Academic Quality, League Tables and Public Policy: A Cross-National Analysis of University Ranking Systems. Higher Education, 49(4), pp. 495–533. Available from http://www.jstor.org/stable/25068082 [Accessed 4 March 2016].

DiMaggio and Powell, W., 1983. The iron cage revisited: Institutional isomorphism and collective rationality in organizational fields. American Sociological Review, 48(2), pp. 147-160.

Enders, J., 2014. The Academic Arms Race: International Rankings and Global Competition for World-Class Universities. In: Pettigrew, A.W., Cornuel, E. and Hommel, U., eds. The Institutional Development of Business Schools. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 155-175.

Goglio, V., 2016. One size fits all? A different perspective on university rankings, Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management, 38(2), pp. 212-226.

Gonzales, L. D. and Nunez, A., 2014. The ranking regime and the production of knowledge: implications for Academia. The future of education research journals, education policy Analysis Archives, 22(31), pp. 1-19

Handel, D.D. and Stolz, I., 2008. A comparative analysis of higher education ranking systems in Europe. Tertiary Education Management, 14(3), pp.173-189.

Hazelkorn, E., 2014. Rankings and the global reputation race. New Directions for Higher Education, 168(winter), pp. 13-26.

Institute for Higher Education Policy (IHEP)., 2009. Impact of college rankings on institutional decision making: Four country case studies. Issue brief, May.

Lindsay, T.K., 2013. The likelihood of higher education reform symposium: Higher education and the Challenges of Reform. Society, 50, pp. 236-244.

Marginson, S., and van der Wende, M., 2006. To rank or to be ranked: The impact of global rankings in higher education. Journal of Studies in International Education, 11(3-4), pp. 306-329.

Marginson, S., 2007a. University mission and identity for a post post-public era. Higher Education Research & Development, 2(1), pp. 117-131.

Marginson, S., 2007b. Global University Rankings: Implications in general and for Australia, Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management, 29(2), pp. 131-142.

Marginson, S., 2007c. Global University rankings: where to from here? Asia-Pacific Association for international education. National University of Singapore, 7-9 March 2007.

Marginson, S., 2008. Globalization, national development and university rankings, Conference proceedings, International Symposium, 12-13 November 2008: University ranking: Global trends and comparative perspectives’ VNU headquarters, Hanoi, Vietnam.

Marginson, S. 2016. Global university ranking and performance improvement. What kind of international academic relations are created by rankings? Proceedings of the IREG-8 Conference, University rankings and international academic relations – A bridging tool or a hindrance? Session1: The impact of rankings on internationalisation, 4-6 May 2016 Lisbon.

Maringe, F., 2010. The meaning of globalization and internationalization in HE: Findings from a world survey. In F. Maringe, and N. Foskett, ed. Globalization and Internationalization in Higher Education: Theoretical, Strategic and Management Perspectives. Bloomsbury Academic, pp. 17-34.

Martins, L.L., 2005. A model of the effects of reputational rankings on organizational change. Organization Science, 16(6), pp. 701-720.

Neveling, A., Malan, D. and Yortt, A., 2014. Globalisation and its influence on ethical decision-making in business: China and intellectual property. African Journal of Business Ethics, 8(1), pp. 45-67.

Ntshoe, I. M., Selesho, J.M., 2014. Institutional ranking in a differentiated higher education in South Africa. SAJHE, 28(4), pp. 1554-1574.

O’Connell, C., 2015. An examination of global university rankings as a new mechanism influencing mission differentiation: the UK context. Tertiary Education and Management, 21(2), pp. 111-126.

Peters, K., 2007. Business school rankings: content and context. Journal of Management Development, 26(1), pp. 49-53.

Pinheiro, R., 2013. Bridging the local with the global: Building a new university on the fringes of Europe. Tertiary Education and Management, 19(2), pp. 144-160.

Rauhvargers, A., 2013. Global University Rankings and their impact – Report II. European University Association. EUA Report on Rankings 2013. Brussels, Belgium: European University Association.

Rossi, F., 2010. Massification, competition and organizational diversity in higher education: evidence from Italy. Studies in Higher Education, 35(3), pp. 277-300.

Soh, K., 2017. The seven deadly sins of world university ranking: a summary from seven papers, Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management, 39(1), pp. 104-115.

Van Vught, F., 2008. Mission diversity and reputation in higher education. Higher Education Policy, 21(2), pp.151-174.




DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15249/12-1-165

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.



ISSN 0976-3600 (on-line) ; ISSN 1817-7417 (print)


Powered by OJS and hosted by Stellenbosch University Library and Information Service since 2014.


Disclaimer:

This journal is hosted by the SU LIS on request of the journal owner/editor. The SU LIS takes no responsibility for the content published within this journal, and disclaim all liability arising out of the use of or inability to use the information contained herein. We assume no responsibility, and shall not be liable for any breaches of agreement with other publishers/hosts.

SUNJournals Help