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Why most universities should quit the rankings game

Universities around the world, many more than will ever publicly admit it, are currently obsessed with gaining status in one or more national or global ranking of universities. They should quit now. 
Although some may succeed in becoming ranked or may improve their numerical scores marginally, it is almost never worth either the resources required or the substantial changes in mission or academic programmes necessary.

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Take Care When Using Rankings for Policymaking and Institutional Decision-making?

Rankings have acquired legitimacy because their methodology appears statistically rigorous and independent. They also appear to be the only way to compare performance and quality internationally. But, rather than using rankings, governments and HEIs should focus on benchmarking – such as that promoted by ACU. This uses a sophisticated combination of qualitative and quantitative methodologies to embrace and embed the full spectrum of teaching/learning, research/discovery and innovation/engagement. 

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Why Internationalisation Matters

International mobility is a global phenomenon, and growing. Once seen primarily as cultural exchange, internationalisation is now recognised as essential for strengthening the interconnectivity of higher education institutions, and countries, in an increasingly borderless and interdependent world. However, not all students are willing or able to spend time abroad. Strengthening and embedding internationalisation “at home” and “on campus” is therefore more vital than ever. 

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Re-Asserting the Public Good Role of Higher Education in Turbulent Times

Universities need to rethink what it means to be a public institution in the 21st century, in part because the publics which support higher education through taxation need to believe that they are getting value. But also, higher education needs to make itself relevant to the global challenges that threaten the future of humankind. This reformulation of an old idea, the civic university, challenges us to ensure that through teaching, research and engagement, universities place themselves at the centre of the local-regional-global nexus, working multi-laterally and multi-dimensionally, to make a difference.

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