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Institutions of Excellence: Reframing World Class Universities

Jul 2018 to Present

Today, international rankings exert a great deal of influence on higher education policies in many countries.  However, these rankings tend to disproportionately benefit institutions that are older, wealthier, larger, and research focused. They do not take into account many other important factors including student success and the impact these institutions have in their localities and regions. They fail to recognize the many ways institutions can be impactful and “excellent” based on their unique missions and histories. This research seeks to hold up new models of institutional excellence and to show the pathways various institutions have followed to achieve excellence on their own terms. The work will involve developing detailed case studies of approximately a dozen institutions in Europe, Asia, Africa, and South America. 


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Matt Hartley, Penn GSE; Alan Ruby, Penn GSE