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Demystifying university rankings and their impact on reputation among consumers of higher education

Donghee Shin, Sungkyunkwan University, Korea & Hyeun-Dae Shin, Sungkyunkwan University, Korea
Published online: 30 October 2020, JTHSM, 6(3), pp.35-45.

URN: urn:nbn:de:0168-ssoar-69914-3, DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.4059978

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Shin, D., & Shin, H. D. (2020). Demystifying university rankings and their impact on reputation among consumers of higher education. Journal of Tourism, Heritage & Services Marketing, 6(3), 35–45. https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4059978

Demystifying University Rankings and Their Impact on Reputation Among Consumers of Higher Education


Purpose: Several universities in different countries are using their college ranking as a marketing and branding tool. Main scope of this paper is to investigate the interrelation between college rankings in Korea and how they affect university service marketing and reputation.

Methods: Forty-six universities are examined through a non-parametric technique, by comparing three different Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) models regarding their adeptness to their Research and Development Business Foundation; parametric methods used to measure efficiencies in the public or private sectors are Ratio Analysis, Productivity Index Approach and Functional Approach.

Results: The results delineate that the three model have different results since CCR and BCC models have better efficiency scores compared to SBM. Furthermore, public universities with local character seems to have better decision-making units leading to better branding.

Implications: Decision makers can enhance policies by improving the effectiveness and antagonism of Research and Development Business Foundations, to improve university’s reputation and attract more and better students. In spite of some valid considerations regarding the ranking of educational institutions in the world, ARWU (Academic Ranking of World Universities) is still a useful indicator for universities who wish to grow further, and will remain as a good guideline.

Keywords: university branding, university ranking, World Universities Ranking System, Korea, DEA

JEL Classification: A2, M00, M3

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