Whenever a new university ranking list is released, social media feeds for students of the respective institutions light up. Facebook groups are flooded with posts regarding the exciting news, followed by emails or phone texts from the administration congratulating the student body and vowing to go higher. This is followed by a barrage of institutional pride. Students and the administrative body wear the ranking like a badge of honour and vow to take their institution to new heights.
The pride is further compounded by the judgment criteria for these lists. As an example, take the World University Rankings 2023 conducted by Times Higher Education (THE). According to their website, 1,799 universities were judged based on 5 dimensions: teaching, research, citations, international outlook, and industry income.