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Socio-political aspects of higher education and knowledge production : the case of university rankings

Dmitrishin, Alexander (2013) Socio-political aspects of higher education and knowledge production : the case of university rankings. Advisor: Capano, Prof. Giliberto. Coadvisor: Masala, Dr. Antonio . pp. 233. [IMT PhD Thesis]

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Abstract

The dissertation deals with the topic of academic rankings. Unlike other works in the field, it analyses the rankings as a part of the academic knowledge production system. The main question of the dissertation is how the emergence of various measurement systems, including the rankings, influenced the global academia. The impact of academic rankings is studied through the prism of incentives that the rankings produce on various levels. The three levels that are studied in the dissertation are policy, institutional, and individual level. The research shows a considerable skew that the rankings introduce into the academic system. On the policy level the rankings promote institutional mergers, re-distribution of resources in favor of more influential institutions, and priority funding of STEM disciplines. On the institutional level, the rankings lead to gradual separation of teaching and research, better funding of STEM departments, faculty head-hunting. On the individual level, the rankings promote prioritization of certain research topics and marginalization of other topics, quantitative tilt, and investment into development of research rather than teaching skills. In addition to the aforementioned impacts, the rankings have an impact on a whole set of sociological issues, such as power and rhetoric in global academia. Taken together these trends change the traditional features of the academic system and push it into a certain direction. To a large extent this direction is determined by the logic of the market.

Item Type: IMT PhD Thesis
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
PhD Course: Political Science and Institutional Change
Identification Number: 10.6092/imtlucca/e-theses/120
Date Deposited: 27 Jan 2014 14:09
URI: http://e-theses.imtlucca.it/id/eprint/120

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