By: Tiffany Nassiri-Ansari and David McCoy | Published February 27, 2023

In recent years, conversations amongst global health academics and practitioners about the need to ‘decolonise global health’ have increased in frequency. One prominent topic of these conversations has been the power imbalances between universities in the Global North and those in the Global South and the disproportionate and inappropriate influence of the former over the education and research activities within the latter and over the shaping of global health priorities and policies. Another concern is the perpetuation of various stereotypes, biases, and prejudices rooted in colonial histories.

Calls have consequently been made for a decolonisation of academic global health and a more critical appraisal of the dominant ideas, narratives, and perspectives in education and research that are propagated by the more powerful institutions of the North.

— World-Class Education? Interrogating the Biases and Coloniality of Global University Rankings 

In response to these calls, UNU-IIGH is pleased to announce the formation of an Independent Expert Group (IEG) to discuss global university rankings, with particular attention to the needs and perspectives of universities, academics, and students from the Global South, and on the field of Global Health. The IEG will examine the extent to which global university rankings entrench coloniality, reproduce inequalities, distort policies, and enable commercial exploitation – and propose actions to mitigate such harms. 

More information about the IEG can be found here.

To help guide the IEG’s deliberations, UNU-IIGH has prepared a briefing paper which is available here. The IEG will be convened for six months before sharing the results of its deliberations after June this year.

We welcome brief comments and suggestions from relevant stakeholders on this topic. Please direct them to 

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