“Best value” rankings in higher education: bang for buck universities?


socializing finance

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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