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ERIC Number: EJ930704
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Jul-12
Pages: N/A
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1938-5978
Turning Around International Comparative Indicators
Adelman, Cliff
New England Journal of Higher Education, Jul 2010
People have a habit of taking international comparisons of various aspects of higher education that are produced in--to put it gently--dubious ways, and delighting in their terrible and/or falling position. It's time to cease and desist this self-flaggelatory habit. Even rhetorically, as a goad to improve, the statements have been uttered so often that they have lost all meaning and effectiveness. They are simply part of en empty liturgy. It's time, instead, to ask some serious questions about the type of indicators being produced and cited, the quality and presentation of these indicators, the taxonomies and aggregations on which they are based, their inclusions and exclusions and whether other indicators could guide better. It's time, too, to put the stage lights on the critical background tapestry of demography, since comparisons of the progress of national systems absent trends in population is like flying blind. In terms of population ratio indicators of participation in higher education, the U.S. is going to look worse in comparative data by 2025, no matter what people do. It's all in the pipeline now. Comparative graduation rates will follow suit. In this article, the author discusses how to turn around international comparative indicators.
New England Board of Higher Education. 45 Temple Place, Boston, MA 02111. Tel: 617-357-9620; Fax: 617-338-1577; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States