University is more than just the pursuit of a pretty piece of paper, it is the aspiration for greater knowledge, the search for identity and the ultimate test in how many two-minute noodles one person can eat. One of the defining characteristics of university is choice — choice of class, choice of direction, and the choice of the institution itself. Recently WA’s chief scientist Peter Klinken has proposed the creation of a “super university”, which would see the amalgamation of every university in the State, or some variation of it. The crux of this decision is seemingly held up by vain attempts to climb to the top of baseless national and international University Ranking Systems. URS have taken precedence namely due to the simplistic nature of applying a single numerical value to an entire learning institution; a simplicity influenced by subjectively prioritised indicators and weightings. Objectivity does not exist in the world of numerical rankings, for comparisons between universities to be made, especially on an international level, limited sets of data pertaining to relevant attributes have to be used. There are currently three main influential ranking systems, the Academic Ranking of World Universities, Quacquarelli Symonds World University Rankings and Times Higher Education World University Rankings. Each of these asks the same question – “Which university is best?” — but the context of the question is different for each system, there are procedural deviations in how each ranking aspect is considered. The data used by each system relies on institutional submissions — like a self-evaluation. Why concede to a gamed system? Not only this, but a single tertiary learning institution for an entire State would leave students with nothing but lionised ideologies inculcated by those who created it. While the joy in picking a university comes from the opportunity to align yourself with the values it preaches, it is that choice that allows you to recognise the importance of your values. Realistically this discussion has been in the works for close to 40 years and I doubt it will come into fruition anytime soon, but for future reference let’s not fall to the concession of meaningless rankings.