The International Competitiveness of Universities: How Do We Measure it?

John Anchor, Samar Soliman

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


The competitiveness of Universities is important in both a domestic and an international context. There is no agreed measure of competitiveness, but rankings (league tables) are used as proxis for it–rightly or wrongly. The international league tables which have been developed during the last 15years reflect both the increasing internationalisation of universities and growing international competition for mobile students and research funding. These league tables include measures of internationalisation, but they mainly focus on the numbers of international students and the numbers of international staff. The international element of the rankings is also a small proportion of the total. This paper proposes an alternative measure of internationalisation. It includes three elements – range, profile, and institutionalisation. Range measures the types of international activities which universities engage with. Profile identifies the most senior person who is responsible for a university’s international strategy and their portfolio of responsibilities. Institutionalisation is a measure of the degree to which internationalisation is embedded in a university’s overall strategy. For example, does it have an identifiable international strategy? Six UK universities are examined to assess the usefulness of the range, profile, and institutionalisation typology. It is concluded that the use of range, profile, and institutionalisation, as measures of internationalisation, provides a more nuanced picture of a complex and multi-faceted phenomenon which has been measured hitherto in relatively simplistic ways.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 15th International Conference
Subtitle of host publicationLiberec Economic Forum 2021
EditorsKlara Antlová, Tereza Semerádová
Place of PublicationLiberec
PublisherTechnical University of Liberec
Number of pages6
ISBN (Print)9788074945786
Publication statusPublished - 13 Sep 2021
Event15th International Conference: Liberec Economic Forum 2021 - Technical University of Liberec, Liberec, Czech Republic
Duration: 13 Sep 202114 Sep 2021
Conference number: 15


Conference15th International Conference
Abbreviated titleLEF 2021
Country/TerritoryCzech Republic
Internet address


Dive into the research topics of 'The International Competitiveness of Universities: How Do We Measure it?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this