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#EAIR2019 Programme

#EAIR2019 Programme

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

August 28, 2019 at 10:00:00 AM



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. 

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