NERCHE Working Paper: “Inside Rankings: Limitations and Possibilities”

“Inside Rankings: Limitations and Possibilities” considers the growing influence of dominant higher-education ranking systems—such as the U.S. News and World Report (USNWR) “Best Colleges” lists—and presents a critique of their main weaknesses and benefits.  Drawing on an extensive literature review as well as insights from a graduate course on ranking systems in higher education (developed by Dr. O’Meara), the working paper explores the relationships and disconnections between research- and reputation-based ranking systems and the purposes and goals of higher education. The authors also identify alternative ranking systems that more accurately reflect the innovative and change-oriented goals of colleges and universities that are both vital to the well-being of the communities in which they reside and that educate the vast majority of an increasingly diverse student population.

More from the New England Resource Center for Higher Education (NERCHE).


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