Models for ranking European Institutions of higher learning with an application to data from Greece
Monitoring the success of colleges and universities can be useful to many interested parties and for many purposes. For example, it can assist administrations to identify the strengths and weaknesses of their institutions and take corrective actions. It can enlighten the decisions of funding authorities, as transparency and accountability in public life are becoming subjects of wide social concern. And of course it can provide prospective university students and their parents with the data they need to make informed educational decisions. In this paper we propose a flexible analytical framework for ranking institutions of higher learning and apply it to date from 19 Department of Economics, Business Administration, and European International and Economic Studies that operated in Greece in 1998. Our results suggest that the proposed model is robust with respect to several criteria. In particular, the rankings in each category remain unchanged for a wide range of the weights employed to sum the contributions of research, teaching and other activities of the faculties. The top departments retain their relative positions in their categories irrespective of whether the rating criterion is research or teaching, thus ascertaining the finding that good teaching goes hand in hand with good research. And last, but not least, it is found that market ratings of the various departments, as represented by the evaluations of graduates their employers, and other interested parties, are consistent with the rankings based on academic criteria.
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