University Rankings as a Special and Highly Effective Form of Communicating Scientific Excellence*

University Rankings as a Special and Highly Effective Form of Communicating Scientific Excellence*

Headline, Studies
Excellent scientists or scientific products represented scientific excellence for lay audiences and the media traditionally. The Zeitgeistof accountability and affordability has amplified the role of various rankings in this. Among the lists of citations, impact factors, publication indexes, etc., the university rankings raise the highest interest in the media and among science policy makers as well. The actors of science need to be able to recognize the nature of these rankings, beyond the methodological dynamics and problems. Because rankings are not mainly about higher education performance. These rankings show society’s media centered nature and its effect on the academic world. In this context there is a direct lesson for science communication: rankings are the media phenomenon of a postmodern mass democracy. They are considered postmodernbecause scientific and instructional performance as…
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Dispersible Meritocracy

Dispersible Meritocracy

Headline, Studies
/Part of Volume "Measured or Communicated? – University Rankings as the Media Representations of Higher Education" by Gyorgy Fabri My argument therefore is based on the notion competence hat there has been a much wider change in the social perception of the rankings, which points far beyond the issue of rankings. The professional (scientific and educational) performance of universities had been acknowledged by a social consensus several hundreds of years old as part of the competence of the academic world – and this changed drastically by the end of the 20th century. And this is not obvious in the sense that it is quite difficult to give an answer within higher education to the question why the professional activities of a university professor or a student wishing to study should be…
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