Saturday, December 27, 2014

University Assessments in the US and the UK

This month saw two significant events in higher ed elsewhere.

The first was in the US, where the Department of Education released a "draft framework" outlining a set of parameters which can form the basis for rating colleges and universities. The report is open for public discussion and debate, before the rating policy is finalized. See the NYTimes story on the report, and Kevin Carey's commentary on it. The ratings are meant to help aspiring undergraduate students in choosing the right colleges to apply to.

The second was the much awaited announcement of the results of an extensive assessment exercise called REF (Research Excellence Framework). As the name suggests, this exercise is only about the research conducted at the UK universities, and its results have a strong impact on universities as well as on individual departments. See The Guardian story: REF 2014: why is it such a big deal?.

The Guardian's coverage is a good place to start, but you can get all the data at the REF site.

See also: Five reasons why the REF is not fit for purpose‬‬‬.