The case for PSE benchmarking over ranking

January 19, 2016

International PSE rankings have achieved a level of authority and currency that isn’t going away anytime soon, writes Francisco Marmolejo. But it is important to consider the ways in which rankings fail to properly measure the value of certain types of institutions. Marmolejo argues that rankings tend to “impose a one-sided vision of an institution—mostly a traditional research-oriented and highly selective university—which is not necessarily the most responsive to the varied needs of the communities where these institutions are located.” The process of benchmarking, on the other hand, can allow institutions with a focus on teaching and public service to compare their performance to other similar-sized institutions with similar priorities. Marmolejo concludes that the benchmarking approach “makes it possible for institutions to define their own niche, and reduces the pressure on them to blindly follow a unilateral definition of a 'good institution.’” University World News