Higher education institutions increasingly live in environments in which they are subject to evaluation and rankings. We examine the way in which Italian (mostly public) universities adapted to the new landscape created by the official research assessments, which have produced rankings at national level, published in 2013 and 2016. We compare the media coverage of rankings after the first research assessment (covering 2004-10) and the second one (2011-4). By examining the same type of media data longitudinally, replicating regression analysis, and using robustness checks, we discover a remarkable degree of organizational adaptation. After the initial shock following the first research assessment (2004-10), in which universities were mostly passive, universities rapidly learnt how to deal with rankings. After the second exercise, they actively and professionally communicated with the media, building up self-made rankings data aimed at protecting and enhancing their image, using a range of categorization tactics.

Self-made university rankings: Categorization tactics and communication activism in Italian universities / Bonaccorsi, Andrea; Belingheri, Paola; Blasi, Brigida; Romagnosi, Sandra. - 31:1(2021), pp. 1-14. [10.1093/reseval/rvab010]

Self-made university rankings: Categorization tactics and communication activism in Italian universities

Paola Belingheri;
2021

Abstract

Higher education institutions increasingly live in environments in which they are subject to evaluation and rankings. We examine the way in which Italian (mostly public) universities adapted to the new landscape created by the official research assessments, which have produced rankings at national level, published in 2013 and 2016. We compare the media coverage of rankings after the first research assessment (covering 2004-10) and the second one (2011-4). By examining the same type of media data longitudinally, replicating regression analysis, and using robustness checks, we discover a remarkable degree of organizational adaptation. After the initial shock following the first research assessment (2004-10), in which universities were mostly passive, universities rapidly learnt how to deal with rankings. After the second exercise, they actively and professionally communicated with the media, building up self-made rankings data aimed at protecting and enhancing their image, using a range of categorization tactics.
University rankings; research assessment; media coverage; university reputation; university image
Self-made university rankings: Categorization tactics and communication activism in Italian universities / Bonaccorsi, Andrea; Belingheri, Paola; Blasi, Brigida; Romagnosi, Sandra. - 31:1(2021), pp. 1-14. [10.1093/reseval/rvab010]
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11385/220864
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