International Association of Universities

Building a worldwide higher education community

Indicators and Assessment

With the increased focus on accountability and on results-based management, the need to measure impact and assess results has become important in institutional efforts of internationalization as well. A growing number of indicators and tools have, and are being developed to help institutions assess the extent to which they are successful in reaching their internationalization goals. Though some effort has been made to evaluate the qualitative aspects of internationalization, too often still, the quantitative indicators are most frequently considered. Among the indicators, the most commonly used are the following:

  • Number of incoming international students
  • Number of students sent abroad
  • Number of foreign partners
  • Number of double/dual or joint degree programs
  • Number of foreign faculty members

Thus even if many institutions are now monitoring these and other specific aspects of internationalization, it is much more difficult to evaluate the quality of the internationalization effort by focusing and measuring the impact of each of these activities, and indeed of the overall institutional strategy.

This kind of assessment allows determining what kind of progress an institution is making toward the achievement of internationalization goals and objectives.

In this regard, the process of developing agreed-upon indicators and definitions of success requires the input of stakeholders to determine which are most appropriate for the goal and for the institutions (Hudzik and Stohol 2009; Beerkens et al. 2010).

Whether the focus is on specific aspects or a more holistic assessment, data collection and verification methods also vary and include surveys, on-going institutional data collection systems, peer reviews, panel visits or use of data from external databases.

The quality review may broadly include some or all of the dimensions identified by Paige (Paige, 2005)

A few examples of how internationalization can be monitored are:


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