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Term Definition

A range of statistical parameters representing a measure of the extent to which a higher education institution or a programme is performing in a certain quality dimension. They are qualitative and quantitative measures of the output (short-term measures of results) or of the outcome (long-term measures of outcomes and impacts) of a system or of a programme. They allow institutions to benchmark their own performances or allow comparison among higher education institutions. Performance indicators work efficiently only when they are used as part of a coherent set of input, process, and output indicators. 

As higher education institutions are engaged in a variety of activities and target a number of different objectives, it is essential to be able to identify and to implement a large range of performance indicators in order to cover the entire field of activity. Examples of frequently used performance indicators, covering various institutional activities, include: the number of applications per place, the entry scores of candidates, the staff workload, the employability of graduates, research grants and contracts, the number of articles or studies published, staff/student ratio, institutional income and expenditure, and institutional and departmental equipment and furniture. Performance indicators are related to benchmarking exercises and are identified through a specific piloting exercise in order to best serve their use in a comparative or profiling analysis.

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