“The panic about ratings causes university management teams to spend money on PR in order to affect the opinions of those who rank universities. They may formally request all staff to lobby colleagues in foreign universities for a higher rating on questionnaires. They may insist on an increase in the quantity of postgraduates without respect to quality. They may demand that faculty publish only in journals the university ranking systems tabulate.
When the only aspects of quality considered are those that are digitally measured, a great divide can open up between appearance and reality. Time is spent on the manipulation of measures rather than on the search for truth or the betterment of life.
Ratings may go up (in the short term) and the actual quality of the university sink.
These management-driven efforts to perform for the rating system can have a bad effect on scholarship as well as teaching.”
Letter to the editor of the Irish times by Adrian Frazier, 5 Oct 2015 http://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/letters/university-rankings-what-are-they-for-1.2376841