Cow Beh Cow Bu

NTU, NUS and the True Lies Behind University Rankings

It was as though they walked out of the set of Total Recall

It was as though they walked out of the set of Total Recall

MICHAEL HENG: The London-based Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World Universities Ranking has been called “a Fraud on the public.” Another Eminent Professor said: “QS simply doesn’t do as good a job as the other rankers that are using multiple indicators”.


Singapore University NTU has secured top placing as the world’s best young universities, according to QS Ranking, one of three major international university ranking systems.


The United Nations Education agency, UNESCO, has challenged the validity and reliability of University Rankings such as QS Ranking:


“Global university rankings fail to capture either the meaning or diverse qualities of a university or the characteristics of universities in a way that values and respects their educational and social purposes, missions and goals. At present, these rankings are of dubious value, are underpinned by questionable social science, arbitrarily privilege particular indicators, and use shallow proxies as correlates of quality.”


It is highly questionable whether the 5 Criteria of QS Ranking actually indicate or measure University Excellence to any extent. No study on their validity and reliability has been produced by the Ranking organisations themselves.  At best, these Criteria are just “popular” notions imagined by the Rankers themselves and have no true bearings on University learning impact on their students.


Too much time has been obsessively invested by NTU and NUS in collecting and using data and statistics in order to improve their ranking performance on a bogus ranking standard of dubious excellence. Universities should be more concerned about innovative ways to enhance our universities’ contributions to society through their students. This is the Real payback for the millions of public fund spent on our Universities.


This commentary was written by Michael Heng.
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