Size, Internationalization and University Rankings: Evaluating and predicting Times Higher Education (THE) data for Japan

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Facultad de CC Económicas y Empresariales. Instituto Complutense de Análisis Económico (ICAE)
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International and domestic rankings of academics, academic departments, faculties, schools and colleges, institutions of higher learning, states, regions and countries, are of academic and practical interest and importance to students, parents, academics, and private and public institutions. International and domestic rankings are typically based on arbitrary methodologies and criteria. Evaluating how the rankings might be sensitive to different factors, as well as forecasting how they might change over time, requires a statistical analysis of the factors that affect the rankings. Accurate data on rankings and the associated factors is essential for a valid statistical analysis. In this respect, the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings is one of the three leading and most influential annual sources of international university rankings. Using recently released data for a single country, namely Japan, the paper evaluates the effects of size (specifically, the number of Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) students, or FTE(Size)) and internationalization (specifically, the percentage of international students, or IntStud) on academic rankings using THE data for 2017 and 2018 on 258 national, public (that is, prefectural or city), and private universities. The results show that both size and internationalization are statistically significant in explaining rankings for all universities, as well as separately for private and non-private (that is, national and public) universities, in Japan for each of 2017 and 2018.
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