Impact of rankings

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


This chapter discusses the influence league table performance can have on an institution, affecting its student recruitment, its funding and even its leadership. It goes on to discuss the impact on the sector as a whole in encouraging a frantic reputation race and leading institutions to concentrate their efforts and resources on a single area of activity, research, with detrimental effects on individual institutions and the sector. The chapter also looks at the potential positive impact that a well-designed ranking system could deliver and outlines the basic principles and ‘lessons learned’ that would shape the design of such a system.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMultidimensional ranking
Subtitle of host publicationthe design and development of U-multirank
EditorsFrans A. van Vught, Frank Ziegele
Place of PublicationDordrecht
ISBN (Electronic)978-94-007-3005-2
ISBN (Print)978-94-007-3004-5
Publication statusPublished - 2012

Publication series

NameHigher Education Dynamics
ISSN (Print)1571-0378



  • High education
  • High education institution
  • High education system
  • League table
  • High education sector

Cite this

van Vught, F. A., & Westerheijden, D. F. (2012). Impact of rankings. In F. A. van Vught, & F. Ziegele (Eds.), Multidimensional ranking: the design and development of U-multirank (pp. 71-84). (Higher Education Dynamics; Vol. 37). Dordrecht: Springer.