Over the past decade a new phenomenon has grasped the higher education world. Famous universities of the world and especially from the developed world have enjoyed an unchallenged reputation for quite some time now. With the relative new shift in the international economic balance towards the east, countries here are investing heavily into universities to enhance education and research; this has led to the creation of very strong worldwide competition. Soon it became evident that reputation and history cannot be the basis of the evaluating the quality of education that a university provides. This prompted the international community to rethink of the factors that defined a world class university.
The position an institution obtains in ranking is very significant. It can for instance be detrimental for an institution to be ranked very low or drop down from one period of ranking another. When reputation of countries and universities is involved it becomes important that fair and unbiased monitoring is conducted of the ranking agencies and their activities. Therefore there has been put in place an international body known as the IREG (http://www.ireg-observatory.org/) which audits ranking schemes and their activities.
The prime factor in most of the ranking schemes available today is based mainly on an institutions research performance. In order to advance in ranking institutions are mainly focusing and feeding their research programs often neglecting teaching which is the fore and foremost purpose of an institution. It is therefore important that the ultimate goal of educating and nurturing the youth is not forgotten or neglected when pursuing improvement in ranking.
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