A post written by Dane Pflueger and Tommaso Palermo
As a recent NY Times article has pointed out, the public rankings regime in higher
education is changing. From the elusive quest of determining quality or ‘who’s
the best’, public and private authorities in America have moved to the even more
daunting quest of determining best value, or, as the article explains it, ‘where you
can get the most bang for your buck’.
Although, as the article makes clear, there are innumerable different ways in which
this new notion of best value is being measured and expressed, it is made possible,
in principle, by placing a denominator, cost, below those sort of public measures that
might be summarised as quality.
Best Value = Quality/Cost
We might consider this movement to be simply another instantiation of the public
ranking phenomena, producing yet another set of dysfunctional effects through
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