Beyond Performance Indicators: Reforming Higher Education Evaluation Systems to Promote Improvement

in International Journal of Chinese Education
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Abstract

As higher education attainment has become increasingly essential for both individual socioeconomic outcomes and the economic competitiveness of nation-states, and as the cost of financing the higher education enterprise continues to rise, university quality has become an urgent concern for students, families, and policy makers around the globe. The widespread interest in assessing university quality manifests itself in the rise of global rankings (Hazelkorn, 2015) and the increasing use of so-called performance indicators by government agencies. This paper focuses on the latter phenomenon. The first part of the paper examines the benefits and limitations of higher education performance indicators as conventionally implemented, and the second part advances a set of suggestions to address these shortcomings by adapting performance systems to represent and incentivize evidence-informed improvement efforts.

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Figures
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    The use of proxy measures to represent an unobservable quality domain
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    A developmental model of evidence-informed improvement activity
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