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 22: Revisiting student performance as a cornerstone of higher education: how is student performance reflected in performance-based funding?

Dominic Orr and Alex Usher


Performance-based funding (PBF) is an example of the instruments of governance introduced to higher education systems during the last two decades in the context of higher education expansion. Through changing the incentive structure, it aims to intensify the focus of higher education institutions (HEI) on their performance, including fostering student performance. Despite the evidence that PBF systems appear to have a low system-wide impact on HEIs, they are still politically significant because they emphasise certain types of performance over others and therefore have a norm-setting function. In this context, the chapter reviews the indicators being used to measure student performance and closes with a discussion of future challenges for PBF systems aiming to more closely reflect changes in students’ pathways to success.

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