Document Type

Book Chapter


Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence



Publication Details

Remus Pricopie, Ligia Deca and Adrian Curaj, Jamil Salmi, Hans de Wit, Liviu Matei, Sjur Bergan, Ellen Hazelkorn (Eds.) European Higher Education Area: The Impact of Past and Future Policies. Springer.


When global rankings first appeared in 2003, rankings in general were little known despite the fact that collecting statistical information on individual academic institutions had begun by the U.S. Bureau of Education in the late 19th century (Snyder, 1993). This was followed by various attempts to measure and compare the performance of faculty members and correspondingly their institutions by focusing on the schooling and characteristics of birth of such “Geniuses” or “Great Men”. This early focus on "distinguished persons" dominated rankings to the 1950s but effectively excluded most public universities, such as Land Grant universities, because they were newer institutions with a different mission than the older private universities.