Universities around the world compete for talented faculty and researchers, for promising students, and for resources and research funding. One element in that competition is where institutions appear in the various university rankings. For around two decades, university ranking schemes have claimed to be relatively objective measures of institutional quality that can help faculty, prospective students and their parents, policy- makers, funders and industry make decisions about where to work, study, invest or recruit.
This report attempts to provide an understanding of how some universities, which do not appear among the top ranked institutions, pursue and achieve excellence in their local contexts and serve their local and regional communities.
Professor, Associate Dean, University of Pennsylvania
Matthew Hartley is Professor and Associate Dean of Academic Affairs at the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education. His research examines how university leaders respond to major education reforms. He is currently examining universities in a variety of national contexts whose work reflect various conceptions of excellence . Dr. Hartley has served as an expert for the World Bank and has worked with the Council of Europe. His Masters and Doctorate are from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education.
Senior Fellow and Founding Director of the Global Engagement Office, Graduate School of Education, University of Pennsylvania
Alan Ruby has a substantial career in government, business, philanthropy, and education. His experience includes being a classroom teacher, the Australian Deputy Secretary of Education, and chair of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) education committee. At the University of Pennsylvania, Mr. Ruby is a senior scholar in the Alliance for Higher Education and Democracy (AHEAD) and studies the effects of globalization on universities. He is also director of the school’s Global Engagement Office.
Manager, Research and Content Development, WISE
Ahmed Baghdady (EdD) is an education and research management professional with over twenty years of experience in education, research, capacity building, strategic planning and institutional development. He currently serves as the Manager, Research and Content Development at the World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE) which is an initiative of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development. Ahmed has been with Qatar Foundation for ten years where he held research and program management positions.