Why Canadians shouldn't worry about where universities appear in global rankings

February 24, 2015

Canadians institutions shouldn't worry too much about their placement in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, argue Robert Lacroix and Louis Maheu. Lacroix and Maheu say that the THE rankings are highly unstable, especially when it comes to evaluating reputational factors. They suggest that Canadian schools' performance have been hit significantly hard by these subjective scores: in the THE rankings, the 2 factors influenced by reputational surveys accounted for 94% of Canadian schools' drop in total score. In contrast, Canadian universities' performances in the Shanghai Jiao Tong University’s Academic Ranking of World Universities have been more stable, possibly because those rankings do not include a reputational survey. Lacroix and Maheu also apply a 6-factor macro-economic model to compare research-intensive universities. When applying this model, they found that Canada has a higher proportion of research universities among the top 200 than expected. This finding corroborates their belief that countries with higher economic density tend to perform better under some ranking methodologies. University Affairs