Framing the university ranking game: Actors, motivations, and actions

James A. Dearden, Rajdeep Grewal, Gary L. Lilien

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Any formulation of the university ranking game involves the perspectives of the 3 key actors: (1) graduating high-school students, (2) universities, and (3) ranking publications. These university rankings are developed and maintained by for-profit publications or magazines, which must balance 2 potentially conflicting motives: (1) to provide students with information to help them decide which university to attend and (2) to increase the revenues of the publication. The actions of the students involve their decision on which universities to apply to and which university to attend among those they are admitted to. The universities seek to attract the best students and seek to improve their ranking to do so. We frame these diverse motives and the ensuing actions of these 3 sets of actors as the university ranking game and discuss the potential inefficiencies in the game and the possibility for unethical behavior by publications and universities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)131-139
Number of pages9
JournalEthics in Science and Environmental Politics
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Ecology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Philosophy
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


Dive into the research topics of 'Framing the university ranking game: Actors, motivations, and actions'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this