Les classements des universités font désormais incontestablement partie du paysage de l’enseignement supérieur, aussi bien au niveau mondial qu’à l’échelon local. Ils occupent dans ce paysage une place de plus en plus importante et ont connu une prolifération phénoménale. Depuis que cette activité est devenue commerciale, les entreprises et organisations qui classent les universités ont gagné en sophistication. Et c’est dorénavant un fait acquis : ces palmarès influencent considérablement l’opinion des étudiants (actuels et à venir), des parents, des employeurs et des pouvoirs publics sur la qualité des établissements supérieurs.
It is beyond doubt that rankings have become a significant part of the tertiary education landscape, both globally and locally.
In this landscape, rankings have risen in importance and proliferated in unimaginable ways. It’s become commercialized and, with it, so has the sophistication of companies and organizations that rank colleges and universities. Undoubtedly, rankings now play such a big role in shaping the opinions of current and potential students, parents, employers, and government about the quality of tertiary education institutions.
No hay duda que los rankings se han convertido en una parte significativa del panorama de la educación superior en los ámbitos local y global. En este escenario, los rankings han crecido en importancia y han proliferado de maneras inimaginables toda vez que la comercialización de los mismos ha llevado a un alto grado de sofisticación de las compañías y organizaciones que se dedican a su elaboración y difusión. Hoy en día es evidente que los rankings juegan un papel no menor en contribuir a formar opiniones de los actuales y futuros estudiantes, padres de familia, empleadores y gobierno, en torno a la calidad de las instituciones de educación superior.
When I published my first book on World Class Universities two years ago, I certainly did not anticipate the world-wide exposure it received. Now, I sometimes worry about having contributed to raising expectations about the importance of world-class universities.
When I visited Nigeria last year, I was told that the country wanted to have 20 World Class Universities by 2020. Recently, Sri Lanka announced that it would increase its higher education budget in the hope of having at least one world-class university. Today we launched The Road to Academic Excellence, a new book I edited with Professor Phil Altbach, and already, the burden of guilt regarding the possible consequences of the new book haunt me.
How can countries establish world-class universities while avoiding common pitfalls? In my previous posting on how to sustain and grow a top-tier university I focused on the importance of staying true to a core mission, evolving with the times, and selecting visionary leaders.
In today’s blog, I outline a couple more common errors institutions are likely to make as they evolve towards expanding their programs within a local context while also attempting to attract a global student body.
Avoiding these mistakes can help universities successfully evolve in new ways.
How do countries establish world-class universities while avoiding common pitfalls? In my previous postings about the Top 10 errors that universities most often make, I focused on obstacles usually encountered at the beginning of the enterprise. In today’s blog, I outline three common errors likely to happen at a later stage, once the new flagship institution has already been operating for a few years and has reached a sort of steady pace. Errors at this stage can impede progress not only in sustaining, but in growing an institution that is well-run and impactful.
What are those three common errors? And how can universities ultimately go the distance?
Co-authored by Jennifer Pye, Tertiary Education Team
Globally the disabled population continues to be the most disadvantaged and marginalized group within society with limited access to educational opportunities. According to UNESCO’s Global Education for All Monitoring Report 2010, “disability is one of the least visible but most potent factors in educational marginalization.”
Today, the U.N.'s International Day of Persons with Disabilities, provides us with an opportunity to share preliminary findings from our on-going work on equity of access and success in tertiary education for people with disabilities.
Co-authored by Roberta Bassett and Jennifer Pye, Tertiary Education Team
We are reaching out to the global tertiary education community to create a forum for discussing equity in access and success. For us, as part of the growing community of bloggers on education at the World Bank, feedback from our readers is important to help fulfill the institution’s mission of fighting poverty and supporting human development. Your views on our work, insights and knowledge contribute to our quest to further our understanding on how best to go about providing equitable access to educational opportunities for all. We hope you will take some time to read this blog entry and explore our web site on Equity of Access and Success in Tertiary Education to learn more. Your comments will feed into our report on the situation of equity in tertiary education that we will be drafting over the next few months based on the background reports and studies found on our website. We hope you will take advantage of this opportunity to help us to drive our work forward and improve equitable access to education for all.
This is my last post sharing the top 10 common errors when building new world class universities based on my work over the past 17 years at the World Bank and reflecting on my observations from working with colleagues involved in advising countries keen to establish new tertiary education institutions. A full version of the lessons can be accessed at Ten Common Errors When Building a New World-Class University.
8. Be too ambitious in enrollment targets. The leaders of new institutions sometimes think that they can rapidly enroll large numbers of students, often in the tens of thousands. This is rarely achieved without sacrificing quality. In the 1970s, E.F. Schumacher wrote in his famous book “Small is Beautiful” that successful development projects were preferably of a small size.
This week, I’m sharing the top 10 common errors when building new world class universities based on my work over the past 17 years at the World Bank and reflecting on my observations from working with colleagues involved in advising countries keen to establish new tertiary education institutions. We started with the magnificent campus and expectation that magic will come from it, followed it with the errors related to the curriculum, content and the overall ecosystem within which universities exist. Today, we delve into some other common errors, here are common errors 5, 6 and 7.
5. Delay putting in place the board and appointing the leadership team. The resolution to establish a new university is often a political decision reflecting a visionary ambition at the highest levels that a ministry or a technical project team is then charged with putting into action. This typically leads to a centrally managed design and implementation process.