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Can we rank universities based on principles of fairness and equity? And if so, should we?

Event Details
Department of Education, University of Oxford UK
19 March 2020

Event cancelled due to travel restrictions.

Higher education ranking systems are ubiquitous and are used, increasingly, to measure and hold universities accountable for a range of issues, such as quality and performance. However to date, very few ranks incorporate measurements of equity and fairness, let alone prioritise them. Even rarer still is evidence of a theoretically informed framework for equity measurement, underpinning such a ranking system. This presentation sets out the findings of a research project undertaken in Australia to construct just such a ranking system. It outlines the rationale/motivation for creating the ranking system, the systematic approach taken in its construction, its strengths and weaknesses and concludes with a discussion on whether ranking universities in such a way promotes positive action or good policy.

Associate Professor Tim Pitman

Associate Professor Tim Pitman is a researcher of higher education policy at Curtin University, Australia. His research has a focus on widening access and participation for groups of students historically under-represented in higher education. Tim’s recent research explored the use of ranking systems to measure higher education equity performance. He is currently conducting a NCSEHE Equity Fellowship on Supporting people with disability from regional, rural and remote Australia, to succeed in higher education.


All seminars are free and open to the public. No advance booking required.

More information is available on the Seminar website.

Posted 25 February 2020