Prejudicial enquiries

March 22, 2012

You say that the Academic Reputation Survey is based on the "considered, expert judgement of senior, published academics" ("Informed opinion at the heart of the matter", Times Higher Education World Reputation Rankings' supplement, 15 March). But Malcolm Gladwell, quoted in the same article, is probably correct when he observes that such an exercise is more likely to be a survey of prejudices.

In my university, periodic course reviews require a group of knowledgeable people to spend several days studying documents and interviewing staff and students before coming to a conclusion about the quality of a single course. It is hard to see how the majority of your respondents can have worthwhile insights about whole institutions - or even about teaching in a broad disciplinary field within them - when they may be thousands of miles away, with their primary academic experience gained in a quite different university culture.

Paul Temple, Co-director, Centre for Higher Education Studies, Institute of Education, University of London

You've reached your article limit.

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Featured Jobs

Most Commented

Worried man wiping forehead
Two academics explain how to beat some of the typical anxieties associated with a doctoral degree

Felipe Fernández-Armesto takes issue with a claim that the EU has been playing the sovereignty card in Brexit negotiations

students use laptops

Researchers say students who use computers score half a grade lower than those who write notes

A group of flamingos and a Marabou stork

A right-wing philosopher in Texas tells John Gill how a minority of students can shut down debates and intimidate lecturers – and why he backs Trump

A face made of numbers looks over a university campus

From personalising tuition to performance management, the use of data is increasingly driving how institutions operate