Institutional research (IR) refers to research activities that answer specific questions within individual higher education institutions (HEIs). IR contributes to institutional governance by supporting decision-making and policy formulation in HEIs. Being in a challenging era, it is important and necessary to accelerate IR in China’s HEIs. Currently, IR in China is of low recognition and has not developed into a mature profession. It can be attributed to defective higher education systems, unsound decision-making style of leadership in HEIs, and institutional research deviating from practices. To fully tap into the potentials of IR and accelerate IR in China, the government, the leaders in HEIs, and institutional researchers should make joint efforts. Meanwhile, centralized IR offices should be established in HEIs to conduct IR more effectively and efficiently.
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