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5.3 EDUCATIONAL SCIENCES
Much of the debate around rankings has focused on methodological problems—which indicators and weightings, the credibility of the statistical process, and why (or why not) inconsistencies arise. There are also complaints about the overreliance on research rather than teaching. Yet, there has been little commentary about the increasing use of quantitative methodologies to drive decision making at the national or institutional level—what I call policymaking by numbers. The same issues arise about performance indicators, in general.
Have rankings accelerated this trend? And, because indicators incentivize
behavior, are we measuring what counts or are we doing what gets measured—a classic case of “goal displacement”?
Hazelkorn, E. : Rankings: Does What Gets Counted Get Done? Rankings and the Reshaping of Higher Education. The Battle for World-Class Excellence, published by Palgrave MacMillan, 2011.