Academia’s Stockholm Syndrome

The Ambivalent Status of Rankings in Higher Education (Research)

  • Jelena Brankovic Bielefeld University
Keywords: Rankings, academia, higher education research, criticism, reflexivity


Academia has an ambivalent relationship with rankings. Academics complain constantly about them; yet, they always look for ways to “fix” them. Higher education scholars researching rankings often also exhibit a similar kind of ambivalence. The author argues that this ambivalence contributes to the further entrenchment of rankings as a practice in higher education, and calls for a heightened appreciation of reflexivity in research on this subject.

Author Biography

Jelena Brankovic, Bielefeld University

Jelena Brankovic is postdoctoral researcher at the Faculty of Sociology, Bielefeld University, Germany. Email:

How to Cite
Brankovic, J. (2021). Academia’s Stockholm Syndrome. International Higher Education, (107), 11-12. Retrieved from