A workshop from the 2015 Sydney conference, hosted by Miguel Lim, EU-Marie Curie Doctoral Fellow, The Danish School of Education, Aarhus University.

The workshop was entitled ‘Rankings: Reputational risk and insights from inside the engine room’. 

Rankings create a ‘distance’ between universities by bringing institutions, cities, regions, and states into competitive relationships with one another. This workshop will explore how rankings contribute to the development of a relatively new kind of reputational risk that universities need to manage.

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2015 Sydney Conference Presentation: Miguel Lim - Rankings: Reputational Risk and Insights from Inside the Engine Room

Miguel’s research interests include global university rankings, performance management technologies, and audit culture in higher education. He was previously Executive Director of the Global Public Policy Network Secretariat, a partnership between Columbia University, the National University of Singapore, the London School of Economics, and Sciences Po in Paris.

He has worked for the Asia Pacific Centre at Sciences Po in Paris and taught at the London School of Economics.

Miguel’s presentation provides tips for reputation managers when dealing with rankings:

  • University managers need to be sensitive to the ways that rankers manage their ranking construct
  • Ranking constructs depend on the rankers’ core audiences, business models, key proponents and advisers, etc.

He also provides an overview of how rankings are risky to universities:

  • [Rankings]…make visible a calculable change in a reputational characteristic
  • Specify the notional distance between “Harvard and the rest”
  • Change from uncertainty to risk (Knight,1921)
  • Operationalise the variance of some factors (i.e. show how changes in factors like citation impact, awards, etc. affect reputation)
  • Allow for the relationship between resources and a reputational characteristic to be assessed, calculated and managed

If you want to find out more about attending this year’s conference please visit our conference page or get in touch via email.