Counting, measuring, estimating – a blessing or a curse for higher education institutions? Farewell symposium for Prof. Dr. Detlef Müller-Böling
Is it possible to measure the performance of higher education institutions (HEIs)? What are the opportunities and limitations in measuring the performance of HEIs? What kind of data collection is reasonable and how are these data reflected in HEI steering? Or does this process merely generate data graveyards that no one ever visits? Which features that characterise good HEIs escape quantification? These questions are discussed by high-ranking representatives from science, politics and the media at a symposium that will take place in Berlin on 19th and 20th of June 2008.
The symposium is being held to tie in with the departure of Prof. Dr. Detlef Müller-Böling from the CHE. Prof. Dr. Müller-Böling will be leaving the CHE in July 2008. It is no accident that the topics of the symposium are related to the key themes the CHE has been focusing on since its foundation:
• ”Create transparency“ – Which data are to be counted or measured and which not; how can the results help HEIs to become more transparent for students, parents, university teachers and HEI managements?
• ”Improve the quality of research and teaching“ – To what extent can evaluations and accreditations contribute to improvements in teaching and research and at what point do these procedures become more of a trial than a benefit?
• ”Improve decisions“ – How can decisions by or within HEIs be improved by ”counting, measuring and estimating”? How can the figures collected have a meaningful influence on the decision-making process if the process was naïve and bound to fail because of a business plan/business management that was unsuitable for the HEI?
• ”The prospective role of HEIs“ – What is the mission of a university? How can the performance of research and teaching be coordinated with other important social missions of HEIs?
It is under these headings that well-known speakers from the U.S. and Europe, including German HEIs, and those from the field of higher education politics will give lectures, debate with one another and discuss points with the audience. The symposium will be hosted by similarly well-known higher education and science journalists.
After the future-oriented discussions during the day, the evening reception on the 19th of June will focus on a review of Prof. Dr. Müller-Böling’s record as head of the CHE from 1994 until 2008 and his contribution to the higher education system in Germany.
The number of participants is limited. If you are interested in participating, please contact Dr. Jutta Fedrowitz.