World-class universities: past and future

Mohammad Fakhruddin Mudzakkir, Badri Munir Sukoco, Patdono Suwignjo

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: In recent years, though a growing body of research has emerged on world-class universities (WCUs), studies in this field remain limited. The purpose of this study is to identify and describe the research gap and provide a future direction for WCU research. This paper highlights the key theoretical approaches, methods, journals, unit analyses, authors, themes, countries and papers in this field. It also outlines the antecedents and consequences of WCU status. Design/methodology/approach: This study collected all research related to WCUs published from 2004 to 2020. In total, 47 studies of the 435 found on Scopus and Web-of-Science are included in the review. Findings: The results show that though the body of WCU literature is growing, it is fragmented in terms of theoretical frameworks, methodology, countries studied and unit analyses. This study also found that national, organisational and individual factors are among the antecedents and organisational and individual consequences of WCUs. Originality/value: This study investigates existing gaps in the WCU literature and identifies new research directions for future research. Further, this study scrutinises existing studies to determine how universities have used a variety of methods and theories to achieve WCU status across numerous countries and settings. Finally, this study develops an antecedents and consequences WCU framework to synthesise existing studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)277-295
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal of Educational Management
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 22 Mar 2022


  • Higher education
  • Systematic review
  • University ranking
  • World-class university


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