The effect of university mergers on the Shanghai ranking
The growing influence of the idea of world-class universities and the associated phenomenon of international academic rankings are intriguing issues for contemporary comparative analyses of higher education. Although the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU or the Shanghai ranking) was originally devised to assess the gap between Chinese universities and world-class universities, it has since been credited with roles in stimulating higher education change on many scales, from increasing the labor value of individual high-performing scholars to wholesale renovation of national university systems including mergers. This paper exhibits the response of the ARWU indicators and rankings to institutional mergers in general, and specifically analyses the universities of France that are engaged in a major amalgamation process motivated in part by a desire for higher international rankings.
KeywordsAcademic rankings Shanghai ARWU Mergers French universities French higher education system
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