Research Output

Statistical Assessment of Peer Opinions in Higher Education Rankings: The Case of U.S. Engineering Graduate Programs

  Unlike many other quantitative characteristics used to determine higher education rankings, opinion-based peer assessment scores, and the factors that may influence them, are not well understood. Using peer scores of U.S. colleges of engineering as reported annually in US News and World Report (USNews) rankings, this paper seeks to provide some insight into peer assessments by statistically identifying factors that influence them. With highly detailed data, a random parameters linear regression is estimated to statistically identify factors determining a college of engineering’s average USNews peer assessment score. The findings show that a wide variety of college- and university-specific attributes influence average peer impressions of a university’s college of engineering including the size of the faculty, the quality of admitted students, and the quality of the faculty measured by their citation data and other factors. Our estimation results show that average peer assessment scores can be readily and accurately predicted with observable data on the college of engineering and the university as a whole. In addition, the individual parameter estimates from our statistical modeling provide insights as to how specific college and university attributes can help guide policies to improve an individual college’s average peer assessment scores and its overall ranking.

  • Type:

    Article

  • Date:

    01 July 2019

  • Publication Status:

    Published

  • DOI:

    10.1108/JARHE-09-2018-0196

  • ISSN:

    1758-1184

  • Library of Congress:

    LB2300 Higher Education

  • Dewey Decimal Classification:

    378 Higher education

  • Funders:

    Edinburgh Napier Funded

Citation

Ghaisi, A., Fountas, G., Anastasopoulos, P., & Mannering, F. (2019). Statistical Assessment of Peer Opinions in Higher Education Rankings: The Case of U.S. Engineering Graduate Programs. Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education, 11(3), 481-492. https://doi.org/10.1108/JARHE-09-2018-0196

Authors

Keywords

University rankings; peer assessments; random parameters; linear regression

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