Jan 24, 2021

World-class Universities, Publication and Research Assessment: Rethinking the Mission of Higher Education in the Global Age


This project documents trends in academic publication over the past 20 years, during the period when national funding systems began to adopt common schemes to assess research productivity in publically-financed universities. This documentation will help to understand how scholars in professional schools and in disciplinary departments focusing on local knowledge have been incentivized – and disincentivized – to conduct certain types of research.

This project will also document possible shifts in the focus of the academic publications in order to understand whether authors increased their coverage of types of topics that interest international readerships, and whether there was any corresponding reduction of coverage of national or local topics. Finally, at the policy level, the project will describe the attempts made in each country/society to adapt global indexes of productivity to local needs. It will show how research assessments in China, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, the UK, and the USA each responded—or did not—to needs for local relevance of their professional and social science faculty.


  • The Osaka Initiatives Forum on ‘Global University Rankings and Excellence Indicators Reexamined: Realities, Challenges and Prospects’ held at Osaka University, February 2015.
  • Workshop hosted by the Department of Educational Administration and Policy at CUHK, July 2014. (Programme)
  • Special issue titled The Future of Education Research Journals published in the Education Policy Analysis Archives in 2014, with a proposal for a second submitted to Higher Education Policy.

Selected outcomes