An evaluation and critique of current rankings

Gero Federkeil, Frans van Vught, Donald F. Westerheijden

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


This chapter raises the question of whether university league tables deliver relevant information to one of their key target groups – students. It examines the inherent biases and weaknesses in the methodologies of the major rankings and argues that the concentration on a single indicator of excellence (research) and single function of an institution ignores the diverse needs and motivations of prospective students in choosing a university. It also raises the issue of rankings that proclaim the ‘excellence’ of an entire institution, which may not be an accurate reflection of the performance of individual departments. The authors then present some principles and examples of good practice in ranking and discuss alternative classification systems
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMultidimensional ranking: the design and development of U-multirank
EditorsFranciscus A. van Vught, Frank Ziegele
Place of PublicationDordrecht, Heidelberg, London, New York
Number of pages194
ISBN (Print)978-94-007-3004-5
Publication statusPublished - 2012

Publication series

NameHigher Education Dynamics


  • METIS-286717
  • IR-84399

Cite this