Indicators for evaluating higher education institutions: Validation through the Delphi method

Revista Espanola de Documentacion Cientifica

The evaluation of higher education activities is complex given their multiple objectives, which focus activities on the three principal academic missions of teaching, research and knowledge transfer. Various methodologies using indicators for the evaluation of universities have been proposed in the professional literature and there is intense debate over which are the most appropriate. Therefore, it is necessary to establish criteria against which to judge the existing indicators. This paper contributes directly to both theory and practice by providing a list of prioritized critical indicators for the evaluation of higher education institutions. For that purpose, we use the Delphi technique to try to achieve some sort of consensus among a group of experts with in-depth knowledge of higher education evaluation. Our results show that among the panel of experts there is no consensus and no clear cut division on the identifi cation of which indicators are the most effective for the evaluation of university missions, the type of indicator and their degree of importance in the evaluation process.