Academic Ranking—From Its Genesis to Its International Expansion

  •  Rosilene Vieira    
  •  Manolita Lima    


Given the visibility and popularity of rankings that encompass the measurement of quality of post-graduate courses, for instance, the MBA (Master of Business Administration) or graduate studies program (MSc and PhD) as do global academic rankings—Academic Ranking of World Universities-ARWU, Times Higher / Thomson Reuters World University Ranking and TR-THE, QS World University Rankings-TopUniversities-QS. With the sharply increasing importance of academic rankings, we seek to answer the following questions: What is the origin of academic ranking? How did it evolve from a local initiative into an international one? How have the agencies responsible for academic ranking developed? Despite this evolution, what are the constraints that still exist? In this qualitative study, we opted for bibliographic and documentary research. The findings confirm the predominance of strategic value intertwined with the reductionism of knowledge in the context of research and publication and, the non-consensual process of the internationalization of higher education, being engendered by a global elite (chiefly of American origin) geared to serve their own interests.

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