Can we rank universities based on principles of fairness and equity? And if so, should we?

19th March 2020 : 12:30 - 14:00

Category: Seminar

Research Group: Higher Education

Speaker: Tim Pitman, Curtin University

Location: Department of Education, Seminar Room G

Seminar Abstract


Higher education ranking systems are ubiquitous and are used, increasingly, to measure and hold universities accountable for a range of issues, such as quality and performance. However to date, very few ranks incorporate measurements of equity and fairness, let alone prioritise them. Even rarer still is evidence of a theoretically informed framework for equity measurement, underpinning such a ranking system. This presentation sets out the findings of a research project undertaken in Australia to construct just such a ranking system. It outlines the rationale/motivation for creating the ranking system, the systematic approach taken in its construction, its strengths and weaknesses and concludes with a discussion on whether ranking universities in such a way promotes positive action or good policy.


About the Speaker


Associate Professor Tim Pitman is a researcher of higher education policy at Curtin University, Australia. His research has a focus on widening access and participation for groups of students historically under-represented in higher education. Tim’s recent research explored the use of ranking systems to measure higher education equity performance. He is currently undertaking a fellowship exploring how people with disability are supported in their higher education studies