Dimensional Inadequacy of Rankings: Exploring Substantial and Meta-quality Dimensions for Higher Educational Institutions

Roopam Sadh, Rajeev Kumar


Evaluation of higher educational institutions is a topic of significant concern in the present information-based era. Various institutional rankings have been born to evaluate higher educational institutions. However, several shortcomings have been reported in their evaluation methodologies. Besides these, we perceive that most institutional rankings are centered mainly on teaching and research dimensions. In contrast, recent studies suggest that several other dimensions exist that are equally important to academic stakeholders. We, therefore, analyze popular rankings with respect to their adequacy of quality dimensions. We explore additional substantial as well as meta-quality dimensions for higher educational institutions using the grounded theory approach. These explored dimensions include transparency, accountability, academic flexibility, infrastructure, financial assistance, etc. Moreover, we find noticeable differences among the priorities of stakeholders regarding these dimensions, which suggest that the aspirations of different academic communities are divergent. Therefore, the rankings methodologies should be designed considering these divergent aspirations of the stakeholders.


Institutional quality; Meta-quality; Academic stakeholders; University rankings

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.26220/aca.3948

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