Go8 Backgrounder 30 - World University Rankings: ambiguous signals
Australia’s universities are doing reasonably well on the published world rankings. However, the indicators used in all the major university rankings are necessarily lagged and the earlier dominance of universities of the developed economies of North America, Britain and Europe will decline over time. Australian universities may appear to be improving against this backdrop of decline, whereas they may well be slipping behind the emergent Asian leaders. This backgrounder explores the concept of rankings and their methodological deficiencies and looks at the public policy implications of rankings and the danger of becoming complacent.