In Pursuit of Performance Assessment in Higher Education: Between Rankings and Institutional Diversity
The New Public Management reform wave emanated by US and UK liberal governments in the 80’s stressed the need for
developing public accountability systems based on performance indicators across all types of public services. University ranking systems
are an important and useful tool in comparing universities and in stimulating competition among them. But are these rankings adequate
in evaluating and comparing different universities coming from different cultural contexts or holding different institutional profiles?
Accordingly, the main argument stressed in the paper is that internationally-used university ranking systems favor research-oriented
higher education institutions leaving aside universities with traditional teaching or learning as main activities, thus affecting institutional
diversity. I conclude by offering alternative ways for assessing higher education performance taking into account institutional diversity.
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