Csató László (BCE, MTA-SZTAKI) A universal university ranking from the revealed preferences of the applicants
A methodology is presented to rank universities on the basis of the applicants’ revealed preferences. We exploit a crucial feature of the centralised admissions system to higher education in Hungary: a student is admitted to the first programme where the score-limit is achieved. This makes it possible to derive a partial preference order of each applicant. Our approach integrates the information from all students participating in the system, does not require any preliminary selection of criteria, and is essentially independent of ad hoc weights, while it is able to reflect even non-measurable college characteristics. The suggested procedure is implemented for ranking faculties in the Hungarian higher education between 2001 and 2016. We demonstrate that the ranking given by the least squares method has favourable theoretical properties such as size invariance and bridge player independence, is robust with respect to the aggregation of preferences, and performs well in practice.