Higher Education, Vol. 86, Iss. 4: Special Issue - The institutionalization of rankings in higher education: continuities, interdependencies, engagement
flavoursofopenscience's bookmarks 2023-11-05
- Jelena Brankovic, Bielefeld University, Germany
- Julian Hamann, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Germany
- Leopold Ringel, Bielefeld University, Germany
[...] we introduce the special issue of Higher Education that centers on the question of the institutionalization of rankings in higher education. The article has three parts. In the first part, we argue that the grand narratives such as globalization and neoliberalism are unsatisfactory as standalone explanations of why and how college and university rankings become institutionalized. As a remedy, we invite scholars to pay closer attention to the dynamics specific to higher education that contribute to the proliferation, persistence, and embeddedness of rankings. In the second part, we weave the articles included in the issue into three sub-themes—continuities, interdependencies, and engagement—which we link to the overarching theme of institutionalization. Each contribution approaches the subject of rankings from a different angle and casts a different light on continuities, interdependencies, and engagement, thus suggesting that the overall story is much more intricate than often assumed. In the third and final part, we restate the main takeaways of the issue and note that systematic comparative research holds great promise for furthering our knowledge on the subject. We conclude the article with a hope that the special issue would stimulate further questioning of rankings—in higher education and higher education research.