Benchmarking in European Higher Education
Symposium "European Benchmarking Initiative (EBI) in Higher Education" in Brussels, 8 November 2007
Last year ESMU, the European Centre for Strategic Management of Universities received two-year funding from the European Commission (DG Education and Culture) for a “European Benchmarking Initiative”. The EBI project will produce an overview of benchmarking approaches in European Higher Education as well as benchmarking standards on good practices for university governance. The project is developing a multidimensional benchmarking approach with different models and indicators to assist European HEIs in finding the most appropriate type of benchmarking for their own needs.
In an increasingly competitive Higher Education environment, benchmarking is a modern management tool which university leaders and decision-makers cannot afford to ignore. Performance indicators and benchmarks are both needed to make informed choices for the strategic developments of our universities and support our attractiveness on the international scene.
ESMU has been offering a Benchmarking programme since 2000, originally with ACU (Association of Commonwealth Universities), using the approach adopted for the Malcolm Baldridge National Quality Awards (US) and the European Excellence Awards. The programme has attracted some 40 leading European universities to exchange good practices and learn from each other in key areas such as their governance, strategic partnerships, internationalization or marketing strategies.
Since 1995, CHE, the Centre for Higher Education Development has been facilitating the Benchmarking Club of Universities of Technology in Germany. The Club has among others worked on data analysis, internal budgeting, research funding, patents and the implementation of Bachelor and Master degrees. Since 2001, CHE also facilitates the benchmarking club of Fachhochschulen (universities of applied sciences) which focuses on university administration (student services, personnel and administration of funding). Key to all these activities is the improvement of university governance and management.
In the context of its programme on Policy and Reform of Higher Education, UNESCOCEPES has initiated a number of activities directly relevant to Standards and Benchmarking in Higher Education. These also include work on issues related to the Bologna Process, governance and management in Central and Eastern Europe and strategic Indicators to monitor Higher Education in the 21st Century.
The University of Aveiro prides itself on being on the cutting edge of advancements in Higher Education and on its ability to utilize effective data for decisionmaking, policy development and building efficiency into the functioning of the organization. Benchmarking as an improvement-oriented process is a logical extension and something the University can well contribute its expertise to.
Further Information can be found in the publication stated below.