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Glossary of terms used on this site

There are 7 entries in this glossary.
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Term Definition

Assessment procedure regarding the quality and effectiveness of the academic programmes of an institution, its staffing, and/or its structure, carried out by external experts (peers). (Strictly speaking, peers are academics of the same discipline, but in practice, different types of external evaluators exist, even though all are meant to be specialists in the field reviewed and knowledgeable about higher education in general.) The review may [also] vary the source of authority of peers, types of peers, their selection and training, their site visits, and the standards to be met. A review is usually based on a self-evaluation report provided by the institution and can itself be used as a basis for indicators and/or as a method of judgment for (external) evaluation in higher education. 


Peers are representatives of academic community and of experts in a concerned field of study coming from other economic and social sectors.


Yardsticks/checkpoints/benchmarks that are used to judge the attainment of performance standards. As qualities, characteristics, or dimensions of a standard for student performance, they indicate how well students meet expectations of what they should know and be able to do, as expressed by varying gradients of success by (scoring) rubrics or by grades.


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. 


Levels of achievement/mastery that are deemed exemplary or appropriate, i.e., specifications of how good the work of a student must be to meet the content standards. Performance standards shape expectations for educational outcomes. 


Refers to the right to practice and the professional status accorded to a holder of a qualification. Owing to different regulations for the recognition of degrees or titles, a differentiation of two groups should be made: de Jure Professional Recognition applies to the right to work in a specific country in a legally regulated profession (e.g., as a medical doctor) while de Facto Professional Recognition refers to situations of unregulated professional recognition, such as situations in which no national legal authorization exists or is required. 


The term refers to the accreditation of an individual programme of study proposed to be carried out by the accredited institution, where special attention is devoted to the academic quality of the programme of study, that is, its ability to provide students with high competences applicable in practice. 

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