League tables will demoralise students – TEU media release

Posted By TEU on Aug 18, 2010 |

The government’s soon-to-be-released league tables of tertiary institutions will be misleading, inaccurate, damaging and demoralising says TEU national president Dr Tom Ryan.

“League tables are misleading because they will rank tertiary education institutions against each other even though they may have completely different types of students and teach different kinds of courses and programmes.”

“They are inaccurate because institutions are not supposed to focus on competing against each other but rather to offer a comprehensive national tertiary education system with a range of opportunities for all learners.”

“They are damaging and demoralising because institutions that are ranked poorly are likely to be unfairly branded as ‘failing’. It can take institutions many years to throw off the tag of a ‘failed institution’.”

“Such a negative reputation will make it harder for an institution to improve its performance. Students do not want their institution named and shamed. Extensive overseas research and experience shows that league tables undermine education.”

“Most importantly they are unnecessary. Student already have access to lots of information and resources about tertiary institutions that allow them to make well-informed choices.”

“All students, irrespective of their family income, culture, race, ability levels or geographical location, deserve the chance of tertiary education, so that they can contribute to their family, the economy, and our communities,” said Dr Ryan.

“League tables such as the government is proposing will mainly benefit institutions that have the most students from wealthy families in full-time study, rather than telling us anything meaningful about academic achievement or student performance.”

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