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  • 1 Universidad de Vigo, ETSE TELECOMUNICACION, Campus Universitario, 36310, Vigo, Spain
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We take a new look at the Shanghai Jiao Tong Academic Ranking of World Universities to evaluate the performance of whole university systems. We deal with system aggregates by means of averaging scores taken over a number of institutions from each higher education system according to the Gross Domestic Product of its country. We treat the set of indicators (measures) at the country level as a scale, and investigate its reliability and dimensionality using appropriate statistical tools. After a Principal Component Analysis is performed, a clear picture emerges: at the aggregate level ARWU seems to be a very reliable one-dimensional scale, with a first component that explains more than 72% of the variance of the sample under analysis. The percentages of variance of the indicators explained by the first component do shed light on the fact that ARWU is in fact measuring the research quality (both at the individual and collective levels) of a university system. When the second principal component is taken into account, the two principal components contribute to explain more than 90% of the variance. The rotated solution facilitates the interpretation of the components and provides clear and interesting clustering information about the 32 higher education systems under analysis.

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Language English
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Founder Akadémiai Kiadó
H-1117 Budapest, Hungary 1516 Budapest, PO Box 245.
Publisher Akadémiai Kiadó
Springer Nature Switzerland AG
H-1117 Budapest, Hungary 1516 Budapest, PO Box 245.
CH-6330 Cham, Switzerland Gewerbestrasse 11.
Chief Executive Officer, Akadémiai Kiadó
ISSN 0138-9130 (Print)
ISSN 1588-2861 (Online)