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  • 1 Department for Anthropology, University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria
  • 2 Department of Statistics, University of Washington, Seattle, WA USA
  • 3 Rectorate of the University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria
Open access

Abstract  

Several individual indicators from the Times Higher Education Survey (THES) data base—the overall score, the reported staff-to-student ratio, and the peer ratings—demonstrate unacceptably high fluctuation from year to year. The inappropriateness of the summary tabulations for assessing the majority of the “top 200” universities would be apparent purely for reason of this obvious statistical instability regardless of other grounds of criticism. There are far too many anomalies in the change scores of the various indices for them to be of use in the course of university management.

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