Higher Education Institutional Rankings: Evaluating Their Credibility for Branding and Marketing
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This chapter focuses on the importance of addressing two concerns before using the rankings—how rankings are used by stakeholders and whether the rankings are credible. Higher education institutions (HEIs) are ranked on almost every conceivable attribute. As a result, HEI ranking has emerged as a robust marketing component in branding and is used extensively by institutions. This chapter provides an overview of whether stakeholders are influenced by HEI rankings and a discussion of three important ranking issues—source legitimacy, data integrity, and methodology. A discussion of professional schools identifies the unique issues that surface when rankings focus on specialized programs. We conclude with a description of the International Ranking Expert Group initiative to create a framework for developing and evaluating credible HEI rankings.
KeywordsBranding and marketing Higher education ranking Ranking credibility IREG
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