International rankings and indicators.
What they tell us and what they don't.

Brussels, 4 April 2008


Rankings are all the craze these days. They are the object of heated controversies. Their methodologies, if not their raison d’être, are challenged by many. Those who come out on top love them – until they drop down the table.

This ACA European Policy Seminar provided an introduction and a constructive critique of international rankings and league tables. It introduced and explained the major methodologies in use today, such as those of the Times Higher Education Supplement (THES) and of Shanghai Jiao Tong University. Likewise, it also introduced new approaches, such as the discipline-specific rankings of the German Centre for Higher Education Development (CHE). The OECD presented its feasibility study for what some call already a ‘PISA for Higher Education’.

17th in the series “European Policy Seminars” of the Academic Cooperation Association