World-class higher education (for whom?)

Susan L Robertson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


The slogan "world class education is ubiquitous in education circles. This essay looks closely at who is advancing this ideas, why, where, and the kind of work it is asked to do. Though instruments for determining the world class status of education institutions were first launched in the 1980s, they have grown exponentially in the past decade, for three main reasons. First, they offer opportunities for new players to enter the education sector and generate profits from gathering and selling information. Second, they provide a way to generate competition within the sector, between component organizations. Finally, their reach gives them tremendous power.The paper argues that more work needs to be done to theorise these shifts in power and associated issues of accountability.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)237-245
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • world-class education
  • globalization
  • rankings
  • biobliometrics
  • higher education


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