Tag: evaluation

Twenty years of EUA Instituional Evaluation Programme

euaThe European University Association (EUA) is celebrating twenty years of their Institutional Evaluation Programme (IEP). The main focus of the programme is to provide external evaluations to institutions, taking into account the specific profiles of the institutions. The programme was started in 1994 and the first evaluations were conducted in universities of Gothenburg, UTrecht and Porto. In these 20 years, about 380 evaluations in 45 countries have been conducted. The set of countries is well beyond Europe, and institutions from Africa, Japan, Latin America and the Middle East have gone through the evaluation.

EUA is celebrating this with a separate publication summarising the key results from these years and outlining some of the background developements. In the foreword, Lothar Zechlin also emphasizes the importance of IEP for the development of quality development practices in European universities. The primary approach to quality evaluation in the programme has followed the “fitness for purpose” approach, as Alicja Bochajczuk argues in the publication. She highlights that the core questions for the evaluations are focused on: What is the institution trying to do? How is the institution trying to do it? How does the institution know it works?
How does the institution change in order to improve? (more…)

Guest blogger: Brazilian Higher Education System: the right to develop research

This post is written by Daniel Guerrini who is a PhD candidate in the Graduation program in Sociology at  Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS) in Brazil. Currently, he is a visiting researcher at University of Tampere in Finland having received a CAPES Scholarship. His PhD project is focused on the issue of institutional autonomy in Brazil, with using Finland as a contrasting case. In this post he sheds light on the Brazilian higher education system that appears to maintain a rigid and persistent institutional hierarchy in terms of autonomy.

In 2009 Brazil had more than 5 million students enrolled in its higher education system (HES). The majority of these students were enrolled in the private sector, corresponding to 74% of the total.  But there is a big and clear cut inside the system that divides higher education institutions (HEI’s) between those that develop research activities and those that don’t. The ones that develop research have specific funding mechanisms, controlled by academic councils, in addition to enjoying high levels of academic and institutional autonomy.

Taking into account this division, private institutions which develop research activities are responsible for only 29,8% of national enrollments (INEP, 2010), thus being less representative, in the competition between the most prestigious HEI’s. But all HEI’s are subjected to the same Federal law of education (nº 9394, of 1996) and a Presidential Decree (nº 5.773, of 2006). By analyzing them, we can have an overview of how this division in the system operates to better understand some internal particularities of the Brazilian HES. (more…)