IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

The Impact Of Weighting Preferences On University Rankings: The Example Of Bulgaria


  • ZAHARIEV, Boyan


On the basis of data from the official Bulgarian University Ranking System (BURS launched in 2011 and updated in 2012), the selection of weights for different indicators in a university ranking system is discussed. Weights represent the importance assigned to the different dimensions of performance measured through ranking, and can therefore be regarded as quantified value statements. Weight preferences differ across groups of stakeholders or even from one agent to another. In this paper a number of stochastic simulations using 4 initial sets of weights are made. The actual weights applied to BURS —simple uniform weights— are derived from a survey encompassing 15,000 university students as well as weights determined by university rectors. The results show that rankings, whose value is relatively neutral —with a set of weights closer to uniformity— are more vulnerable to small random fluctuations. Value laden rankings with asymmetric weights as in the case of BURS are more resilient to slight disturbance(s) however are very unstable in the case of the rearrangement of priorities. A consistent ranking system demands asymmetric weighting, which means strong value statements and prioritisation. The problem however with such a ranking system is that if heavily weighted preferences do not capture important elements of performance, the whole system can become not just marginally imprecise but also very erroneous.

Suggested Citation

  • ZAHARIEV, Boyan & BOYADJIEVA, Pepka, 2012. "The Impact Of Weighting Preferences On University Rankings: The Example Of Bulgaria," Regional and Sectoral Economic Studies, Euro-American Association of Economic Development, vol. 12(3).
  • Handle: RePEc:eaa:eerese:v:12:y2012:i:3_5

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access usually restricted to subscribers. Free on line subscription for universities from low and middle income countries: See

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Bernardino, Pedro & Marques, Rui, 2009. "Academic rankings: an approach to a Portuguese ranking," MPRA Paper 17297, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    university rankings; selection of indicators; stochastic weights;

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I23 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Higher Education; Research Institutions


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eaa:eerese:v:12:y2012:i:3_5. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (M. Carmen Guisan). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.