S. Cadena1, J.L. García2, E. Loza-Aguirre3, J. Ortiz1, A. Pérez1, M. Segura-Morales3

1Universidad Central del Ecuador (ECUADOR)
2Universidad de Cuenca (ECUADOR)
3Escuela Politécnica Nacional (ECUADOR)
Over the last decade, with the objective to gain in competitiveness and improving the quality of their higher education systems, several agencies and researchers have developed and tested, to a different extent, indicators and models for accrediting, comparing and rank universities with the ultimate goal of improving a culture of quality on higher education. The indicators, heterogeneous by nature and broad by necessity, were conceived to evaluate universities’ activities that help to fulfil their missions: create new knowledge by research, transfer of knowledge by teaching, and the dissemination and application of knowledge by their relationship with society. In this research, we conduct an extensive literature review of 654 contributions which propose indicators or models for evaluating universities. The identified indicators were later validated by focus groups of experts which included chancellors, rectors and academic authorities. This allowed to obtain 59 indicators that were grouped to propose a framework for evaluating universities activities. Our results unveil that some categories capture, by far, the attention of researchers who proposed the indicators, at the expense of others. This research would help universities’ authorities as reference for implementing new mechanisms for measuring their activities or even to develop new ones which will adapt their own context and needs.