Международные и российские рейтинги вузов. Опыт и перспективы для российской системы высшего образования
The chapter is devoted to the analysis of the impact of the global academic rankings and the concept of world-class university upon the system of high education both globally and in contemporary Russia. The author analyses the use of the rankings in benchmarking and strategy planning, and demonstrates negative influence of the obsession with the rankings in some countries. The chapter considers the case of the strategy of Ural Federal University (Russia) as one of the examples of both use and abuse of the rankings in large regional Russian university. The author argues for the necessity of organizing transnational associations and consortia of the universities, especially in emerging countries (BRICS nations, for example), to resist neo-Imperial features of today's global Academia. One of the remedies the chapter proposes is to adopt the idea of plural modernities from sociology and to treat global education environment as kind of a multi-polar world. Then, the author argues, the rankings should be supplemented with qualitative comparative analysis of educational systems.
The Global Academic Rankings Game provides a much-needed perspective on how countries and universities react to academic rankings. Based on a unified case methodology of eleven key countries and academic institutions, this comprehensive volume provides expert analysis on this emerging phenomenon at a time when world rankings are becoming increasingly visible and influential on the international stage. Each chapter provides an overview of government and national policies as well as an in-depth examination of the impact that rankings have played on policy, practice, and academic life in Australia, Chile, China, Germany, Malaysia, the Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United Sates. The Global Academic Rankings Game contributes to the continuing debate about the influence of rankings in higher education and is an invaluable resource for higher education scholars and administrators as they tackle rankings in their own national and institutional contexts.
The debatable questions of creating university rankings are considered. University rankings are shown to be at the initial stage of development and are used for advertisement purposes in actual fact. The mechanism for composing rankings of material products is objective itself, but objective criteria can hardly be found for such an ideal object as “the quality” of an education; therefore, university rankings are poor due to the subjectivity and bias of “experts.”
Global university rankings have become an increasingly influential tool for measuring and verifying academic excellence. Today, it is hard to find a country where higher education policy and leading universities totally ignore the issue of global competitiveness and rankings as public measures of academic quality. The persuasiveness of global rankings has challenged national perceptions about higher education development and involved governments and hundreds of universities in the so-called “ranking game” (Hazelkorn, 2014; Kehm, 2014). At the same time, we can observe different reactions by universities whose institutional strategies were imposed by the fact of being ranked. These reactions concern not only changes in external images and institutional strategies, but also internal changes of formal structures and identities (Gioia, Thomas, Clark, & Chittipeddi, 1994; Espeland & Sauder, 2007; Sauder & Espeland, 2009; Colyvas, 2012). Furthermore, the reactions differ not only between universities of high and low ranks (Hazelkorn, 2007), but also between universities embedded in different academic systems. Following Clark (1983) and Maassen (1996), it can be argued that institutional context—which consists of elements related to disciplinary culture, the academic profession, and political culture—determines the different reaction by universities to global rankings.
In this chapter, we present the case of a university that has recently entered the race for global academic excellence. Our analysis addresses two important issues. We demonstrate how an abstract idea of global rankings is translated into practice in a university embedded in a specific institutional context. We also show how coupling between academic and administrative structures is organized under the pressure of global rankings.