Why university research rankings miss the bigger picture

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Contributed by Feridun Hamdullahpur to the Globe and Mail , Jul 30, 2014

Buzzfeed, the Internet phenomenon that journalists and marketers around the world are seeking to replicate at breakneck speed, taps in to our human instinct to try to bring order to the things around us with entertaining nonsense. (Anyway, they got it wrong – the top album kids need to hear before high school is Blind Faith’s Blind Faith.).

This obsession with lists isn’t new. People love lists. Not even The Globe is immune.

So it’s hardly surprising that the education sector has seen a plethora of rankings emerge in recent years. Canadian institutions are ordered by Times Higher Education, Quacquarelli Symonds, Maclean’s, The Globe, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, and many, many more.

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