Higher Education

, Volume 53, Issue 6, pp 819–841 | Cite as

Measuring the international standing of universities with an application to Australian universities

  • Ross Williams
  • Nina Van Dyke


Globalisation has meant an increased demand from students, employers, and academics for indicators of the international academic standing of universities. In this paper we examine the broad methodological issues involved in measuring international academic standing and apply our conclusions to data for 38 Australian universities.

Determinants of the international academic standing of universities are grouped into six broad categories: standing of academic staff, quality of undergraduate intake, quality of undergraduate programs, quality of graduate programs, resources, and peer opinion. The relative importance of each of these attributes is ascertained though a worldwide survey of university presidents, rectors and vice-chancellors plus Australian deans, thus reducing the need for subjective weighting by the researchers. The empirical findings are used to weight quantitative performance data for Australian universities and the results compared with two other recent worldwide rankings of universities.


international ranking quality measures research standing survey of academic leaders 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social ResearchUniversity of Melbourne, Melbourne InstituteParkvilleAustralia

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