IOE - Faculty of Education and Society


Global university rankings as ‘sticky’ objects and ‘refrains’

10 March 2022, 3:00 pm–4:00 pm

Students listening to university lecture. Image by luckybusiness / Abobe Stock.

In this webinar, Riyad A. Shahjahan and Paul Bylsma will discuss their research on global university rankings (GURs) using affect theory.

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to







Tristan McCowan

Please note that this event has been rescheduled from 22 February to 10 March.

GURs have garnered increasing media attention since their inception. Yet to date, a concerted attempt to offer an affect lens - emotions, responses, reactions, and feelings that are relational and transpersonal - underlying the mediatisation of GURs remains absent.

The presenters will share their research titled Global university rankings as ‘sticky’ objects and ‘refrains’: affect and mediatisation in India. They will look into how affect plays a pivotal role in how the mediatisation process infuses ranking logic into a national context that is at the periphery of GUR outcomes.

They will argue that national media uses affect to confer and open up GURs for localised meaning making, allowing GURs to persevere despite their questionable legitimacy in a Global South context, thus globalising higher education policy.

Although the event is free and open to everyone, it will be particularly useful for academics and students interested in university rankings, affect theory and higher education.

Related links

About the Speakers

Dr Riyad A. Shahjahan

Associate Professor of Higher, Adult and Life Long Education (HALE) at Michigan State University

Riyad is also a core faculty member of Muslim Studies, Chicano/Latino Studies, Asian Studies, and Center for Advanced Study of International Development. His areas of research interests are in globalisation of higher education, decolonising curriculum / pedagogy, temporality and embodiment in higher education, cultural studies, and de / anti / postcolonial theory.

Paul E. Bylsma

Doctoral student at Michigan State University

Paul is studying Higher, Adult, and Lifelong Education. He is interested in affect theory, critical theory, and theories of teaching and learning.