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ERIC Number: EJ1104469
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 10
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-2368-4526
The Marketing of Canadian University Rankings: A Misadventure Now 24 Years Old
Cramer, Kenneth M.; Page, Stewart; Burrows, Vanessa; Lamoureux, Chastine; Mackay, Sarah; Pedri, Victoria; Pschibul, Rebecca
Collected Essays on Learning and Teaching, v9 p227-236 2016
Based on analyses of Maclean's ranking data pertaining to Canadian universities published over the last 24 years, we present a summary of statistical findings of annual ranking exercises, as well as discussion about their current status and the effects upon student welfare. Some illustrative tables are also presented. Using correlational and cluster analyses, for each year, we have found largely nonsignificant, inconsistent, and uninterpretable relations between rank standings of universities and Maclean's main measures, as well as between rank standings and the many specific indices used to generate these standings. In our opinion, when assessed in terms of their empirical characteristics, the annual data show generally that this system of ranking is highly limited in terms of its practical or academic value to students. Among other difficulties with the interpretation of ranks, we also discuss the possibility that ranking exercises have unintended, though potentially serious, negative consequences for the intellectual and personal welfare of students.
Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. 1280 Main Street West, Mills Library Room 504, Hamilton, Ontario L8S 4L6, Canada. Tel: 905-525-9140; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A