Ranking quality in higher education: guiding or misleading?

Brita Bergseth*, Peter Petocz, Madeleine Abrandt Dahlgren

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    16 Citations (Scopus)


    The study examines two different models of measuring, assessing and ranking quality in higher education. Do different systems of quality assessment lead to equivalent conclusions about the quality of education? This comparative study is based on the rankings of 24 Swedish higher education institutions. Two ranking actors have independently assessed the quality of these institutions during the same year. The analysis focuses on the concepts of quality on which the rankings are based, the choice of quality indicators, as well as methods, data sources and assessors. Although both actors base their rankings on the same overarching definition of quality, their conclusions do not correspond. The statistical method applied in this review, Bland-Altman analysis, indicates no significant agreement between the qualitative and quantitative measurements of quality in higher education. On the contrary, in several cases there are remarkable differences.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)330-347
    Number of pages18
    JournalQuality in Higher Education
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2 Sep 2014


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