THE EVALUATION IN THE ITALIAN UNIVERSITY SYSTEM: A GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE OVER THE LAST DECADE
National University Evaluation Committee (ITALY)
About this paper:
Conference name: 2nd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 5-7 July, 2010
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Abstract:Italy introduced an evaluation system for universities in 1993 with the institution of the Internal Evaluation Unit in each university followed by the establishment of the University Evaluation System Observatory which was then transformed into the present National University Evaluation Committee (NUEC) in 1999.
The aim of this study is to present an account of development of the Italian evaluation system both on a centralized level and for every single university, in order to understand the role that the culture of evaluation has played during the last decade in these institutional organisms. We carried out a “top-down” approach concerning this issue by firstly focusing on the centralized evaluation system and then on each university. The NUEC, which has been operating for the last ten years, will be soon replaced by the National Agency for the Evaluation of University and Research and so we believe it is constructive to closely analyze the activities carried out by this Institution over the last decade. Concerning each university, our study is mainly focused on the evaluation of the students’ opinions. This choice is due to the double role played by this kind of evaluation in the university system since it is taken into consideration in the allocation of funds to each university by the Ministry of Education and it can be also a strategic factor for developing the demand for each university, in terms of number of newly enrolled students.
By using the available data coming from the surveys carried out by NUEC every year in the Italian universities, we analyze the opinions of the students attending courses within their degree courses and the opinions of undergraduates for universities which are part of the AlmaLaurea interuniversity consortium, in order to obtain a general view of how the students judge the university system both during and at the end of their degree program. On one hand, we will analyze to what extent the participation (in terms of teaching courses evaluated) of each university is covered by the data gathered by NUEC and how this participation has developed over the years. On the other hand, we will highlight the differences among the universities (in relation to their geographic position and dimension) and among the different types of faculties.
Keywords: university evaluation system, students’ opinion surveys, funds distribution process, teaching courses evaluation.