Since the start of the twenty-first century, university rankings have become internationalized. Global rankings have a variety of uses, levels of popularity and rationales and they are here to stay. An examination of the results of the current global ranking reveals that well-reputed world-class universities are amongst the top ranked ones. A major concern for university administrators in many parts of the world is how to use the global rankings wisely in their mid-term and long-term strategic planning for building their institutions into world-class universities. Four major global rankings have been developed: the Academic Ranking of World Universities, the World University Rankings, the Webometrics Ranking of World Universities and the Performance Ranking of Scientific Papers for World Universities. The main purpose of this paper is to explore the most influential indicators in these global university rankings that will affect the rank mobility of an institution. Based on an analysis of correlation coefficients and K-means clustering, a model of strategic institutional planning for building a world-class university is proposed.
Higher Education Research & Development, Vol.31, No.6, pp.841-857