Benchmarking Universities: The Canadian case

David Turner

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    This paper presents a method for comparing university performance known as Data Envelope Analysis (DEA). DEA is used to reanalyse data on Canadian universities previously published in Maclean’s magazine, and used to produce a national league table. The analysis using DEA contrasts with that used in producing league tables, and highlights various implicit assumptions that are built into league tables as they appear in many countries. Within a framework of DEA, different models are used to evaluate university performance on the basis of different assumptions. The model which produces the results most similar to Maclean’s league table incorporates very specific assumptions, and these can be examined by altering them in other models. The results show quite clearly that league tables incorporate assumptions which are very far from being appropriate to the context that league tables are supposed to operate in.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)5 - 18
    Number of pages13
    JournalWorld Studies in Education
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2004


    • league tables
    • university performance
    • academic achievement
    • canada
    • data envelope analysis


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