The tertiary and higher education landscape includes a diverse array of institutions and organizations that pursue both common and distinct mission objectives. The diversification of providers and formats for provision follows closely the increased demands on the sector to serve a broader array of societal and individual needs within the ‘global knowledge economy’. Several classification and typology schemes assist in crafting policy and accountability schemes that accommodate mission diversity into the assessment of institutional performance. In contrast, rankings and league tables represent reductionist efforts that compare a narrow range of institutions according to inflexible, uniform criteria, regardless of mission. This chapter examines the extent to which classification schemes and emerging reporting initiatives pertaining to an array of outcome measures have contributed toward multifaceted approaches to assessing institutional performance and quality and have mitigated the influence of reductionist rankings.
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