Knowledge for Development

How to improve the evaluation of research activity at universities

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Date: 30/06/2014

Introduction:

At a seminar organised by the Interuniversity Institute for Advanced Research on Science and Universities (INAECU), Rafael van Grieken, director of the Spanish National Agency for Evaluation of Quality and Accreditation (ANECA), spoke about the evaluation of research activity at universities. Van Grieken argued that the model of accreditation and evaluation of research at universities is characterised by being overly quantitative and by not sufficiently appreciating aspects such as professional activity and knowledge transfer. 'The model tries to evaluate quality, but ends up being very quantitative because of the regulatory framework, the secondary or indirect nature, the structuring (of knowledge) into large areas and the obligation to express it by points', explained van Grieken, who noted that knowledge transfer is not sufficiently appreciated in some areas while in others it is perhaps valued too much. According to him, there was a need to develop solid qualitative indicators to assess the universities' activities and impact. The purpose of the seminar was 'to help Spanish science improve, be competitive, on the basis of proposals of evaluation and of policies of incentive schemes for research activities'.    

(Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, 07/05/2014)   

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