Global Educational Research Journal

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The Race for University Rankings: why Argentina should not compete in this World Class University Rankings Race?

Mercedes Victoria Andres



Accepted 11th April, 2017


Internationalization of Higher Education (HE) represents one aspect of economic globalization having affected also the educative realm; the effects and consequences on HE are diverse and differentiated between regions and countries, and also within these. The benefits that can be obtained from globalization are destined only to a few, while in education it happened the same: not every country that plays the game of internationalization can obtain gains from it. What is true is that internationalization is an irreversible process and everyone should deal with its consequences searching for varied strategies. We are going to present internationalization as a game with a global board and several characteristics taken from indicators of internationalization from University rankings: QS, THE, and ARWU. This will let us see which are the countries that obtain absolute gains or relative gains from internationalization and understanding that their strategy is competition (for soft power, reputation, and economic incentives); while for the others (the ¨losers¨ from internationalization game) we are going to offer an alternative in order to get relative gains, which refers to a different strategy of cooperation and regionalization of their HE. Here we are going to locate Argentina and explain why they should not play in the general board of internationalization, and not compete in university rankings, but on the regional board to obtain relative gains. We are going to demonstrate how rankings indicators, are showing results of some countries, while can not be applicable to all realities, so this means that they are not explicative of Argentinean current HE system. This can be extrapolate to South America (SA) in general, because due to their HE systems characteristics they are going to be positioned in the board of cooperation and regionalization, not in the one of internationalization and competition. The failure of rankings explaining Argentinean reality, is going to be criticized from two sides, one intrinsic of rankings that are the weak points they have in understanding HE and imply unequal treatment of different realities, and the second one; based in four indicators showing how they cannot cope with Argentinean facts to end up opting in favour of regionalization.


Keywords: Globalization, internationalization, South American Higher Education systems, Higher Education Rankings, University Rankings, Argentina, Regionalization.