Document Type

Conference Paper


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



Publication Details

Paper presented at the American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference June 20 – 23, 2010, Louisville, Kentucky, USA.


In recent years the development and use of university rankings, comparisons, and/or league tables has become popular and several methodologies are now frequently used to provide a comparative ranking of universities. These rankings are often based on research and publication activity and also not uncommonly focus on indicators that can be measured rather than those that should be measured. Further, the indicators are generally examined for the university as a whole rather than for university divisions, departments or programs. Implicit also is that placement in the rankings is indicative of quality. This paper provides an overview of the methodologies used for the more popular rankings and summarizes their strengths and weaknesses. It examines the critiques of rankings and league tables to provide appropriate context. The paper then examines the issue of how a university (or a college or program) could be assessed in terms of the quality of its engineering and technology programs. It proposes a set of indicators that could be used to provide relative measures of quality, not so much for individual engineering or technology programs, but rather of the university.