Higher Education

, Volume 64, Issue 6, pp 767–787 | Cite as

Is there a gap between students’ preference and university presidents’ concern over college ranking indicators?: a case study of “College Navigator in Taiwan”

  • Angela Yung-Chi HouEmail author
  • Robert Morse
  • Yueh-jen E. Shao


In order to help students make well-informed choices, reliable college ranking systems with comparable information about higher education institutions worldwide have been welcomed by many students. Because traditional college rankings had many methodological problems, a new type of user-based ranking, called “personalized college ranking” started to develop in many nations in the late 1990s. In 2008, Higher Education Evaluation and Accreditation Council of Taiwan (HEEACT), launched a ranking project called “College Navigator in Taiwan” which developed the first Asian student-based college search engine to provide local and international students with transparent information on Taiwan’s higher education institutions. The main objective of this paper, therefore, is to compare the rational, strategies and pathways for establishing personalized college rankings. In order to analyze the gap between students’ preferences and university presidents’concerns over ranking indicators, HEEACT’s “College Navigator in Taiwan” is adopted as a case study at the end of paper.


Higher education Personalized college ranking Indicator 


  1. 2nd International Ranking Expert Group (the 2nd IREG). (2006). The Berlin principle on ranking of higher education institutions. [Online] Retrieved April 15, 2007, from
  2. Aguillo, I. F., Ortega, J. L., & Fernadez, M. (2007). Webometrics ranking of world universities: Introduction, methodology and future development. Paper presented at The 3rd Meeting IREG Meeting, Shanghai.Google Scholar
  3. Altbach, P. G. (2006). The dilemmas of ranking. International higher education, 42. [Online] Retrieved Feb. 22, 2006, from
  4. Centre for Higher Education Development (CHE), & Center for Higher Education Policy Studies (CHEPS). (2008). The CHE ranking of European universities: A pilot study in Flanders and the Netherlands. Oslo and Enschede: CHE and CHEPS.Google Scholar
  5. Federkeil, G. (2009). Multi-dimensional, personalized rankings in Europe. Evaluation Bimonthly, 22, 23–26.Google Scholar
  6. Griffith, A., & Rask, K. (2007). The influence of the US News and world report collegiate rankings on the matriculation decisions of high ability students: 1995–2004. Economics of Education Review, 26, 244–255.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Hazelkorn, E. (2007). The impact of leagues tables and ranking systems on higher education decision making. Higher Education Management and Policy, 19, 81–105.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Higher Education Evaluation and Accreditation Council of Taiwan (HEEACT). (2011). College navigator in Taiwan. [Online] Retrieved April 14, 2011, from
  9. Hou, Y. C. (2012). Impact of excellence programs on Taiwan higher education in terms of quality assurance and academic excellence, examining the conflicting role of Taiwan’s accrediting agencies. Asian Pacific Educational Review, 13(1), 77–88.Google Scholar
  10. Hou, Y. C., & Morse, R. (2009). Quality assurance and excellence in Taiwan higher education—An analysis of three Taiwan major college rankings. Evaluation in Higher Education, 3(2), 45–71.Google Scholar
  11. Hou, Y. C., Morse, R. & Jiang, C. L. (2011). An analysis of positions mobility in global rankings: Making institutional strategic plans and positioning for building world class universities. Higher Education Research & Development. On-line, 1–17 Google Scholar
  12. King, R. (2009). Governing universities globally: Organization, regulation and rankings. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing.Google Scholar
  13. Levin, D. J. (2002) The uses and abuses of the US News rankings. Priorities 20 (Fall/Autumn).Google Scholar
  14. Lock, W., Verbik, L., Richardson, J., & King, R. (2008). Counting what is measured or measuring what counts? League tables and their impact on higher education institutions in England. Bristol: Higher Education Funding Council for England.Google Scholar
  15. Luca, M., & Smith, J. (2011). Salience in quality disclosure: Evidence from the U.S. News college rankings. [Online] Retrieved April 15, 2007, from
  16. Maclean’s. (2011). Personalized university ranking tool. [Online] Retrieved March 3, 2011, from
  17. Marginson, S. (2007). The public/private divide in higher education: A global revision. Higher Education, 53(3), 307–333.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Meredith, M. (2004). Why do universities compete in the ratings game? An empirical analysis of the effects of the USNWR college rankings. Research in Higher Education, 45(5), 443–461.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Merisotis, J. P. (2002). Summary report on the invitational roundtable on statistical indicators for the quality assessment of higher/tertiary education institutions: rankings and league table methodologies. Higher Education in Europe, 27(4), 475–480.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Merisotis, J. P. (2007). International center on academic ranking [ICAR]A concept paper. Institute for Higher Education Policy.Google Scholar
  21. Ministers Media Center. (2010). Government to introduce ‘My University’ website. [Online] Retrieved July 13, 2011, from
  22. Monks, J., & Ehrenberg, R. (1999). U.S. News and World Report’s college rankings: Why do they matter? Change, 31(6), 42–51.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Muller-Boling, D., & Federkeil, D. (2007). The CHE-ranking of German, Swiss and Austrian universities. In J. Sadlak & N. C. Liu (Eds.), The world class university and ranking: Aiming beyond status (pp. 189–203). Bucharest: UNSESCO-CEPES.Google Scholar
  24. Neubauer, D. (2010). Ten globalization challenges to higher education quality and quality assurance. Evaluation in Higher Education, 4(1), 13–38.Google Scholar
  25. Push (2008). Uni chooser. [Online] Retrieved March 27, 2008 from
  26. Sadlak, J. (2006). Policy context and organizational arrangements of university ranking. Paper presented at The Challenges of University Ranking conference. [Online] Retrieved Feb.16, 2006, from http://www.leidenslatest.leidenunivnl/content_docs/leiden_js_finaltextla.doc.
  27. Saisana, M., & D’Hombres, B. (2008). Higher education rankings: Robustness issues and critical assessment. Paris: European Commission.Google Scholar
  28. Salmi, J., & Bassett, R. M. (2009). Rankings and league tables: A global perspective. Evaluation Bimonthly, 22, 17–22.Google Scholar
  29. Stella, A., & Woodhouse, D. (2008). Promoting quality literacy: Undoing the damage of rankings. Chiba, Japan: Paper Presented at APQN Conference.Google Scholar
  30. Stichting SURF. (2008). [Online] Retrieved March 15, 2008, from
  31. Swedish National Agency for Higher Education. (2009). Ranking of universities and higher education institutions for student information purposes?. Stockholm: Swedish National Agency for Higher Education.Google Scholar
  32. Usher, A., & Savino, M. (2006). A world of difference: A global survey of university league tables. Toronto: Educational Policy Institute.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Angela Yung-Chi Hou
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Robert Morse
    • 3
  • Yueh-jen E. Shao
    • 4
  1. 1.Center for Faculty Development and Instructional Resources, Graduate School of Educational Leadership and Development, Fu Jen Catholic UniversityTaipeiTaiwan, ROC
  2. 2.Office of Research and Development, Higher Education Evaluation and Accreditation Council of TaiwanSinjhuang CityTaiwan, ROC
  3. 3.U.S. News and World ReportWashingtonUSA
  4. 4.Graduate Institute of Applied Statistics, Fu Jen Catholic UniversityTaipeiTaiwan, ROC

Personalised recommendations