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Australian Universities' Review, v52 n1 p69-76 2010

This paper examines why the development of a world class university system represents a rational, even inevitable, policy approach for Australia in response to world university rankings. It assembles evidence questioning the value of policies which direct undue emphasis on the concentration of resources and the development of elite universities, especially in smaller nations. Several recent policy initiatives have enhanced Australia's ability to maintain a strong university system and this has meaningful implications for the international promotion of Australian higher education. The "system" approach necessitates that Australia continue to pay close attention to world university rankings but develop more sophisticated means of classifying and benchmarking universities to ensure the required diversity of institutional missions to achieve all that is expected of the system. (Contains 1 table.)

Descriptors: Higher Education, Foreign Countries, Educational Policy, Educational Resources, Institutional Mission, Colleges, Classification, Institutional Characteristics, Reputation, Rating Scales, Institutional Evaluation, College Choice, Benchmarking

National Tertiary Education Union. PO Box 1323, South Melbourne 3205, Australia. Tel: +61-3-92541910; Fax: +61-3-92541915; e-mail: editor[at]; Web site:

Autor: Sheil, Tony


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