22 SES 03 A, Paper Session
In the age of knowledge-based economy and the emergence globalization and internationalization, and consequently the growing emphasis on improving the level of standards and quality of goods, products and services, we see worldwide efforts by all institutions to have a greater share in the target markets. As a result, in recent decades, we have witnessed the formation of professional ranking organizations. Therefore, the emergence of a significant range of ranking systems in the field of higher education and academic institutions around the world is also meant on this basis. For this, we can refer to the ranking of countries based on per capita income, GDP, rate of development or a combination of complex indicators. The point to consider in this regard is that the ranking process has gone beyond the macro level of organizations and countries. It is used in small institutions such as restaurants, schools, hospitals, banks and especially universities. Despite this, universities are among the systematic, multidimensional, and complex organizations that are very difficult to rank in terms of different work activities (Marup et al., 2013). Universities and higher education centers are institutions that provide the basis for the implementation of economic, social and cultural development policies of each country. Training of specialized human resources, production of knowledge and research and implementation of basic, applied, developmental research and dissemination of their findings is one of the main functions of universities (Mokhtarian et al., 2008). Thus, universities and higher education institutions have different functional aspects in order to achieve their goals and face a complex and multifaceted environment. Ranking universities according to the environment in which they are located and their functional aspects is a challenging task because each higher education institution focuses on the programs and missions that it explains to itself to provide programs. Among the ways that are suggested for ranking universities is ranking based on indicators related to various activities and functions (Huang, 2012).
Universities have played an important role in the development of societies around the world for centuries through their teaching and research missions. In carrying out these missions, they also develop growth strategies and play an important role in increasing graduate employment, raising community education, creating opportunities for individuals, and developing knowledge and technologies. Nations and governments have come to the conclusion that research and development universities have a key role to play in shaping knowledge and innovation capacity and developing their capability in conjunction with higher education, research and development, and embedding high quality programs in universities (Shihata and Mahmoud, 2016).
On the other hand, increasing market-based considerations and international research of higher education institutions around the world has led to an increase in the interest of government, universities and students in recognizing their position, compared to other educational institutions (Sharafi, 2009). Therefore due to significant and multiple roles of higher education in society, its quality is a vital indicator (Hazel Korn, 2009) and every country strives to improve the quality of its national higher education system competitively and adopt different policies to create universities competing world class universities (Shihahta and Mahmoud, 2016).
Considering the importance of evaluating the university system and also the low ranking of Iranian universities in most world rankings, it is necessary to study why Iranian universities lagging behind other world universities in international rankings and provide appropriate strategies to improve the position of our universities in our country. For this this study aims to investigate the challenges of the Iranian higher education system based on global rankings indicators.
This study seeks to investigate the existing facts and answer questions related to the current state of the Iranian higher education system, in what areas and contexts of the ranking systems has been weakened and what strategies have been used leading to the position of our country's universities in the world rankings can be promoted. Therefore as a qualitative research, this study aims to investigate external challenges of Iran's higher education system based on the global rankings’ indicators in which Ruth Wodak method of critical discourse analysis was applied. Participants included 16 scholars and senior officials from Higher Education Institutions in Tehran whose were selected via snowball sampling method. Semi-structured interviews were applied to collect data based on theoretical saturation which were lasting between 30 and 60 minutes. For data validation both participants review (member check) and review by external experts (external check) were applied. Critical discourse analysis was used to analyze data.
Analyzing the global status and credibility of the Iran's higher education in the world rankings, shows The country’s relevant policies and practices havenot been very successful and has not achieved much in its strategic vision and mission. Therefore, it is necessary that policy makers and higher education planners of the country, focusing on the basic indicators and important criteria in evaluating the quality of university institutions at the international level, in order to improve the status, quality and position of the country's higher education system. Provide the necessary resources to review the development of higher education and make the necessary reforms in administrative, executive, educational and research structures, programs and processes. However, although this inefficiency is rooted in several causes and factors that indicate the complexity and multifaceted nature of the higher education system, but in the meantime, the continued structural focus on higher education in the country is not only in complete contrast with the relevant epistemological foundations but also causes Agility, efficiency, vitality and the power of scientific and educational competition have been taken away from the university institutions of the country (Azizi, 2017). However, due to the role of higher education in economic growth and innovation, this phenomenon has become the center of gravity of serious policies of governments and geopolitical interests around the world. According to Hazelkorn (2009), one of the reasons for the popularity and reputation of ranking systems is that they are first and foremost an evaluation mechanism. Secondly, they have a global position and, thirdly, they are able to measure national competitiveness in the field of higher education. Therefore, considering the results and output of such systems can be used as a reliable platform for policy makers and higher education planners in creating an effective policy mechanism and adopting evidence-based policymaking (Birkens, 2018).
Altbach, P. G. (2012). The globalization of college and university rankings. Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning, 44(1): 26-31. Arkali Olcay, G., Bulu, M. (2017). Is measuring the knowledge creation of universities possible? : A review of university rankings. Technological Forecasting & Social Change. 153–160. Azizi, N. (ed.) (2017. The Need for Higher Education Reform in Iran. Tehran: Institute for Cultural and Social Studies. Fernate, A., Surikova, S., Kalnina, D., Sanchez Romero, C. (2009). Research-Based Academic Studies: Promotion of the Quality of Learning Outcomes in Higher Education? Paper presented at the European Conference on Educational Research. University of Vienna. 28-30. systems: Interplay of complex dimensions. Higher Education Policy (Vol. 20). Hazelkorn, E. (2009). Impact of Global Rankings on Higher Education Research and the Production of Knowledge. UNESCO Forum on Higher Education. Research and Knowledge. 15: 1-14. Hazelkorn, E. (2013). How rankings are reshaping higher education. In V. Climent, F. Michavila & M. Ripolle´s, (Eds.), Los rankings universitarios, Mitos y Realidades. Tecnos. http://arrow.dit.ie/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1023&context=cserbk. Hazelkorn, E. (2013). World – class universities or world class systems? Rankings and higher education policy choices. Dublin institute of technology. Huang, M. H. (2012). Exploring the h-index at the institutional level: A practical application in world university rankings. Online Information Review, 36(4), 534-547. Marope, P. T. M.; Wells, P. J. and Hazelkorn, E. (2013). Rankings and accountability in higher education: uses and misuses. UNESCO Mokhtarian, F., Mohammadi, R., Parand, C., and Poor Abbas, A. (2009). Evaluating the performance of the higher education sector: Process, results and achievements. Iranian Journal of Engineering Education, 10 (39), 111-75. Sharafi, M. (2009). Academic rankings in the world. Tadbir, No. 206.Shehatta, I., & Mahmood, k. (2016). Correlation among top 100 universities in the major six global rankings: policy implications. Scientometrics, 109: 1231–1254.
00. Central Events (Keynotes, EERA-Panel, EERJ Round Table, Invited Sessions)
Network 1. Continuing Professional Development: Learning for Individuals, Leaders, and Organisations
Network 2. Vocational Education and Training (VETNET)
Network 3. Curriculum Innovation
Network 4. Inclusive Education
Network 5. Children and Youth at Risk and Urban Education
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Network 25. Research on Children's Rights in Education
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