Research Handbook on Quality, Performance and Accountability in Higher Education
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Research Handbook on Quality, Performance and Accountability in Higher Education

Edited by Ellen Hazelkorn, Hamish Coates and Alexander C. McCormick

As higher education becomes a key determinant for economic competitiveness, institutions face increasing pressure to demonstrate their fitness to meet the needs of society and individuals. Blending innovative research with richly contextualised examples this unique Research Handbook provides authoritative insights from around the globe on how best to understand, assess and improve quality, performance and accountability in higher education.
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Chapter 15: Emerging perspectives on measuring and classifying institutional performance

Victor Borden, Hamish Coates and Robert Bringle


The tertiary and higher education landscape includes a diverse array of institutions and organizations that pursue both common and distinct mission objectives. The diversification of providers and formats for provision follows closely the increased demands on the sector to serve a broader array of societal and individual needs within the ‘global knowledge economy’. Several classification and typology schemes assist in crafting policy and accountability schemes that accommodate mission diversity into the assessment of institutional performance. In contrast, rankings and league tables represent reductionist efforts that compare a narrow range of institutions according to inflexible, uniform criteria, regardless of mission. This chapter examines the extent to which classification schemes and emerging reporting initiatives pertaining to an array of outcome measures have contributed toward multifaceted approaches to assessing institutional performance and quality and have mitigated the influence of reductionist rankings.

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