Conference article

University Performance Evaluation Approaches

Loukas N. Anninos
Department of Business Administration, University of Piraeus, Greece

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Published in: 10th QMOD Conference. Quality Management and Organiqatinal Development. Our Dreams of Excellence; 18-20 June; 2007 in Helsingborg; Sweden

Linköping Electronic Conference Proceedings 26:111, p.

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Published: 2008-02-15


ISSN: 1650-3686 (print), 1650-3740 (online)


During the last years; there has been extensive argumentation regarding university accountability; the evaluation of their performance (in the educational and administrative operation) and the publication of results with a view to more objective decision making (Ewell;1999; Banta; Borden;1994; Fuhrman;1999; 2003; Pounder; 1999; Wakim. Bushnell;1999; King; 2000; Goertz; Duffy; 2001; Welsh; Dey; 2002; Welsh; Metcalf; 2003; Bolton; 2003 Black; Briggs; Keogh; 2001). Decisions may be taken by individuals (eg students) aiming at choosing a university for studies; by the state aiming at a rational base to allocate resources and an imprint of higher education competitiveness or by the institutions themselves aiming at introducing changes and improvement wherever necessary. Moreover; universities do not constitute individualised organizational units but they operate and affect the wider economic and social system in which they belong. They are therefore accountable a) to the academic staff they employ (work in a suitable working climate and have great opportunities for scientific advancement); b) to the state (use of resources productively (efficiently and effectively) and c) the students and the society (comprehensive educational experience; scientific education and professional training to acquire quality of life) (Vidovich and Slee; 2001; Löfström; 2002; Corbett; 1992). Consequently; the evaluation of their performance proves to be a highly significant process for university institutions with many receivers of its results.

Baring in mind; a) university accountability towards the state and all stakeholders (that engage in institutional goal setting and operation and are influenced by their results); b) globalization that encourages the mobility of academic staff and students and hence stresses the need for international comparability of higher education systems; study programmes and degrees; c) the European objectives to create the area of European Higher Education which presupposes evaluation; d) global competition of higher education institutions in order to create attractive educational multi-cultural environments and the trend towards university collaboration and e) the opportunity to improve and eliminate institutional weaknesses; universities should have a suitable and reliable management system with processes and mechanisms of performance measurement that would allow comparisons and improvement (Wakim; Bushnell;1999; Pounder;1999; Al-Turki; Duffuaa; 2003; Diamond; 2002; Meyerson; Massy;1994; Welsh; Metcalf; 2003).

The effective management of any higher education system presupposes evaluation of results in institutional; departmental and study programme level. So; many evaluation approaches have been developed and successfully implemented globally with similarities and differences. Therefore; the present paper aims to present the different university performance evaluation approaches used internationally and examine the scientific correctness and suitability of the most common ranking systems; based on the presentation of issues regarding ranking systems that are raised in literature.


Performance; Evaluation; Higher Education; Ranking Systems


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