10/07/2014

True Lies about Universities Rankings

True Lies about Universities Rankings - Michael Heng

The London-based Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World Universities Ranking has been called “a Fraud on the public.” Another Eminent Professor said: “QS simply doesn’t do as good a job as the other rankers that are using multiple indicators”. 

Singapore University NTU has secured top placing as the world's best young universities, according to QS Ranking, one of three major international university ranking systems.

The United Nations Education agency, UNESCO, has challenged the validity and reliability of University Rankings such as QS Ranking:

“Global university rankings fail to capture either the meaning or driverse qualities of a university or the characteristics of universities in a way that values and respects their educational and social purposes, missions and goals. At present, these rankings are of dubious value, are underpinned by questionable social science, arbitrarily privilege particular indicators, and use shallow proxies as correlates of quality.”

It is highly questionable whether the 5 Criteria of QS Ranking actually indicate or measure University Excellence to any extent. No study on their validity and reliability has been produced by the Ranking organisations themselves.  At best, these Criteria are just “popular” notions imagined by the Rankers themselves and have no true bearings on University learning impact on their students.

Too much time has been obsessively invested by NTU and NUS in collecting and using data and statistics in order to improve their ranking performance on a bogus ranking standard of dubious excellence. Universities should be more concerned about innovative ways to enhance our universities’ contributions to society through their students. This is the Real payback for the millions of public fund spent on our Universities.  

Kopi Level - Green

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14 comments:

Anonymous said...


universities rankings should not
be our priority......

what is critical is the ability
to produce graduates with skills
that the we/society/industries
really really need......

Anonymous said...

In this world, nothing is to be believed. There is always an agenda behind why such data, based solely on statistics, are never the truth.

The fact of the matter is that statistics have always been proven to lie and again, the reason is, there is an agenda behind why such data are always doctored or skewed to serve a purpose.

I never believe in job statistics or inflation figures, because they do not reflect the real position on the ground. While inflation is reported to be so low, why are the prices of cooked food and drinks so expensive, going up by double digit figures every now and then, especially after each and every renovation.

Anonymous said...

That is beside the point, even if the above allegation by one Michael Heng of QS ranking being questionable is true.

The point is that "good" university rankings, never mind it may be dubious, is a good selling point which will attract more and better foreign talents from the whole, wide world to enroll on scholarships. And this fits to a T with the PAP objective to increase the talent pool to supplement Sinkie talents no enough.

Simple as it is, I hope Michael Heng, RB and others can appreciate this point, and the whole rationale of the PAP investment of giving scholarships for foreign talent policy.

Anonymous said...

Daft Sinkies are indeed pathetic.

Not only talents no enough, numbers also no enough, and most crucial of all, votes against PAP also no enough.

Pathetic or not, u say lah?

Michael Heng PBM said...

Singapore has progressed from 3rd World to First because our Founding Leaders believe in Authenticity. Changi Airport, Singapore Port, Night Safari, Tampines Town and so many other Singaporean iconic achievements are real, credible, and genuine. No BS, that's Singapore. It is OUR BRAND - Authenticity. Now come a Bogus Ranking with Dubious Excellence to tell the World that NTU is Number 1? Seriously, can we believe this? Let's NOT sell NTU this way - "Wearing a Lamb's Face to sell Dog Meat" (Chinese Idiom). WE are better than that. NTU is BETTER than THAT.

Anonymous said...

Holy ghost, NTU better than MIT!

Waaaahahahaahhh.....Please don't kill me with laughters.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Did Singapore traded good money and its local lecturers and students for foreign lecturers and students for the sake of gaming hazy rankings?

Anonymous said...

NTU is better than MIT.
PM Lee's job is more difficult than President Obama's job. That's PM Lee has to be so highly paid.

b said...

QS surveyors are not saints lah. They also commited one of the common pitfalls in using metrics: you get what you measure. Moreover, they may have received many free meals, travel, hotels, rolexes etc from ntu.

Robert C H Chia said...

Rankings are part of a global disease where (mis)representations have become more real than reality. We regularly prefer to `eat the menu` rather than the dish. Unfortunately suckers are born everyday and there is always money to be made in these things. Who rank the rankers though? How do you prove the `proof`?

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

The painful part is that public money is wasted on such gamings. And even more painful part is our children's university places were sacrificed for it. Never mind the lecturers and professors if they allowed themselves to be replaced to make this farce looked good.

Anonymous said...

What do you think of people or govt bragging how good they are using such fictitious, irrelevant and useless ranking positions?

Stupid, silly, conmen, simpletons, self serving, irresponsible, unreliable.....

b said...

Best university is University Of Manchester. Watch the Champion of Champions on BBC.

Anonymous said...

NTU number 1? That has got to be the greatest joke of the century. I worked there and I can tell you that this uni is nowhere near top 100. Why? U just need to look at those people around. The ARWU ranking that puts it at 150-200 range is already very kind to NTU.