Do university rankings measure anything at all?

Overall recent results show that while the underlying intent of the rankings is to measure similar things, they do not, and what they do measure is very unclear. If they measure anything at all, it appears to be visibility and prestige, something that feeds on itself, and would be predicted to lead to fixation at the top of the rankings. In fact it is worse than that. By giving these rankings importance and meaning, we concentrate our attention merely on doing well at them. The statistical analysis suggests that they are biased, unstable and unreliable, precisely to those institutions that most rely on them to provide an “objective” view of their performance.

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