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International university rankings are attracting growing interest among public opinion, universities and nations, which is evident in a global knowledge economy, improving the competitiveness and reputation of universities becomes an end in itself. Their public nature draws attention to concerns for excellence in higher education and seems to produce a spirit of competitiveness among universities and encourages them to perform better. The university charts show more and more the supremacy of the elite universities which are always at the top and which maintain their reputation. This article focuses on the predominant global characteristics that determine the quality and competitiveness of elite universities and suggests some strategies that universities can adopt to improve their competitiveness by drawing on the different indicators selected by the different rankings of universities.
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