Free Webinar: Who decides what is a world-class university?


Michelle L. Stack

How do we decide what is a world-class university? Who decides? How do they decide? In this free webinar, the role of university rankings in the global higher education market is explored. There is a plethora of studies about the substantive methodological flaws of major rankings. There are studies that point to their colonial underpinnings and corporate interest. There are studies that suggest rankings have undue influence on educational policy. Yet there are also studies that indicate the influence of rankings are only increasing.

Join Social Science Space blogger Michelle L. Stack, associate professor in the Department of Educational Studies, University of British Columbia, and author of Global University Rankings and the Mediatization of Higher Education, as she draws on her research to discuss the ideology behind what makes one university world class and another — depends on what you see as a good and worthwhile education — not. The aim of this hour-long webinar, she says, is to initiate an ongoing conversation with participants about research-based alternatives to current rankings.

Thursday, November 17th

8am PST| 9am MST| 10am CST| 11am EST | 4pm GMT


Michelle Stack is an associate professor, former senior policy advisor and public commentator on education at the University of British Columbia. Her research interests include university rankings, the role of media in the policymaking process, using multimedia technology as part of research, community and youth engagement, social justice and equity in education. Her list of scholarly achievements includes a 2015 book on higher education rankings, titled Global University Ranking and the Mediatization of Higher Education. In 2015, she was an invited scholar at SNDT Women’s University in Mumbai India, working with students and faculty on media representations of mental illness and community-based projects to challenge stigma.

She also writes a popular blog with SAGE’s Social Science Space and contributes weekly as a commentator on the Roundhouse Radio show, Sense of Place.


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