Tertiary Education and Management

, Volume 7, Issue 1, pp 69–88 | Cite as

Diversity and Peer Selection: Where Do They Intersect?

  • Daniel W. Lang


A common criticism of accountability schemes that are based on comparisons is that they fail to address legitimate and practical questions about how differentiation among institutions can be measured and promoted, and about how distinctive institutional mandates and roles — some of them determined by government mandate — can be recognised and appropriately funded within single systems of higher education. Responding to these queries and suggestions requires some yardstick by which to express and measure similarities and dis-similarities among institutions. At the same time individual institutions, for a variety of reasons ranging from accountability to the allocation of scarce resources, attempt to compare or ‘benchmark’ themselves against other institutions. Both activities involve measurement, classification, and the selection of peers. Although customarily addressed apart from one another, diversity and peer selection can be conceptually closely linked within single scales of similarity and dis-similarity. Existing paradigms that explain diversity might be too simple for reliable peer selection and comparison, and might fail to account for all expressions of diversity.


High Education Hybrid Approach Individual Institution Institutional Type Threshold Approach 
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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Daniel W. Lang
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Theory and Policy Studies, OISE/UT, Division of Management and EconomicsScarborough Campus, University of TorontoCanada

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