Rewarding efficiency

Law n. 240/2010 and Implementation Decree n. 19, dated 27 January 2012, introduced systems for the regular evaluation and accreditation of Universities, in order to constantly monitor the quality of the universities and to reward the more efficient ones. Following the promulgation of Ministerial Decree n. 47, dated 30 January 2013, the Universities began implementing the procedures for AVA accreditation, a National system of Self-Evaluation, Regular Evaluation and Accreditation, which is governed by a set of indicators laid down and verified by ANVUR (the National Agency for the Evaluation of Universities and Research Facilities). Quality Assurance safeguards were set up within the Universities to constantly and continuously oversee the “Quality Assurance” (QA) processes.

The AVA system

The accreditation process is articulated into three stages:

  1. Self-Evaluation: The University compiles its own self-evaluation documentation in conjunction with the Assessment Panel and the Joint Lecturer-Student Committee
  2. External Assessment: The self-evaluation documentation is examined by a group of experts - this may also include site visits undertaken by the External Assessment Committees (CEV). The external assessment ends with the drafting of an External Assessment Report, which includes both the findings and any recommendations for improvement
  3. Accreditation: ANVUR examines the External Assessment Report and either grants or revokes the institution’s accreditation. The institution’s facilities and its Study Courses are both subject to accreditation

Having evaluated the accreditation requirements, the rating may be:

  • fully positive (level 1)
  • satisfactory (level 2)
  • with reserve (level 3)
  • unsatisfactory (level 4)

A Level 3 rating results in the granting of temporary accreditation, whereas a Level 4 rating results in the immediate revocation of accreditation.

Regular Evaluation

This is designed to measure the efficacy, efficiency and the economic and financial sustainability of the University’s activities and the results achieved by the University in terms of Education, Research and Quality Assurance. The indicators and parameters used for the regular evaluations of training activities are as follows:

  1. Average annual number of Course credits/student
  2. Percentage second-year enrolments with X Course Credits
  3. Number of Course Credits of students enrolled in a Study Course for 2 years/total number of registered students
  4. Graduation rate (percentage of students that graduated within the standard duration of Ist and IInd level courses)
  5. Degree course student drop-out rate
  6. Number of working students
  7. Number of overtime students (students enrolled in a Study Course for more than the standard duration for that course)
  8. Number of inactive students
  9. Average time taken to qualify
  10. Occupational outcomes
  11. Lecturer/student ratio for similar course groups (Table 2, attachment C of Ministerial Decree  17/2010)
  12. Percentage of study courses with entrance tests
  13. Ratio of number of Course Credits acquired by foreign students/registered students
  14. Ratio of students on international mobility for longer than three months/registered students
  15. Ratio of students with more than 15 Course Credits acquired abroad /registered students
  16. Lecturers on International mobility (months/individual, outgoing and incoming)
  17. International Doctorate Courses
  18. Students registered with non-Italian status entitlement/registered students
  19. University (non-Erasmus) funds for International mobility
  20. Lingua-franca courses and training
  21. Ratio of students from other Universities/graduates from this University now enrolled for Masters Degrees (alternatively to point 17)
  22. Student questionnaires
  23. Results of the Quality Assurance process

Indicators and parameters used for the regular evaluations of research activities are as follows:

  1. Percentage of lecturers that have not had anything published in the past 5 years (inactive)
  2. Scientific output per section over the past 10 years/University lecturers
  3. Number of National and International awards received
  4. Activities of scientific and cultural diffusion
  5. Fellows (or equivalent) of scientific societies
  6. Ratio of tender bid projects /University lecturers over the past ten years
  7. Percentage of output over the past 5 years with international co-authors
  8. Average number of Doctorate Theses per lecturer
  9. Average number of patents per lecturer over the past 10 years
  10. Ratio of projects for third parties and research projects won in tender bids/ number of lecturers over the past 10 years
  11. Number of spin-offs over the past 10 years
  12. Number of extramural activities linked to areas of research (e.g. organization of cultural or educational activities, organization of conferences, etc.)
  13. Number of months/person spent by foreign lecturers/researchers at the University
  14. VQR (Research Quality Assessment) results

Regulatory references

  • Presidential Decree n. 76, dated 1 February 2010: Regulations pertaining to the structure and operation of ANVUR
  • Law 240, dated 30 December 2010: Rules pertaining to the organization of universities, academic personnel and recruitment, as well as a mandate to Government to provide incentives to improve the quality and efficiency of the University system
  • Leg. Dec. n. 19, dated 27 January 2012: Implementation Decree in respect to Law n. 240/2010
  • Ministerial Decree n. 47, dated 30 January 2013: Criteria for the accreditation of Study Courses
  • Ministerial Decree n. 1059, dated 23 December 2013: Amendments to Ministerial Decree n. 47/2013
  • AVA final document - 9 January 2013