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Indicators on individual higher education institutions: addressing data problems and comparability issues

Listed author(s):
  • Andrea Bonaccorsi
  • Cinzia Daraio
  • Benedetto Lepori
  • Stig Slipersæter

Higher education institutions (HEIs) are crucial to the development of the European Research Area. However, unlike in the USA, the availability of quantitative indicators for individual HEI at the European level is severely limited by several methodological issues, data availability problems and national institutional constraints. The paper discusses strategies for collecting and validating data from different national sources; the limitations of the available data for different categories of indicators and, finally, the influence of the heterogeneity of the national HEIs on comparability at the European level. Based on the experience of two recently completed projects, the paper shows that, despite these problems, it is possible to collect relatively coherent data on European HEIs and to develop a set of consequential indicators. Further, it provides advice on how to exploit them for comparative purposes in a sensible way. It concludes by indicating areas where major improvements are urgently needed, and advocates a European S&T Indicators Platform to maintain and develop these data sets long term. Copyright , Beech Tree Publishing.

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Article provided by Oxford University Press in its journal Research Evaluation.

Volume (Year): 16 (2007)
Issue (Month): 2 (June)
Pages: 66-78

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Handle: RePEc:oup:rseval:v:16:y:2007:i:2:p:66-78
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