Benchmarking in university toolbox
In the face of global competition and rising challenges that higher education institutions (HEIs) meet, it is imperative to increase innovativeness and efficiency of their management. Benchmarking can be the appropriate tool to search for a point of reference necessary to assess institution’s competitive position and learn from the best in order to improve. The primary purpose of the paper is to present in-depth analysis of benchmarking application in HEIs worldwide. The study involves indicating premises of using benchmarking in HEIs. It also contains detailed examination of types, approaches and scope of benchmarking initiatives. The thorough insight of benchmarking applications enabled developing classification of benchmarking undertakings in HEIs. The paper includes review of the most recent benchmarking projects and relating them to the classification according to the elaborated criteria (geographical range, scope, type of data, subject, support and continuity). The presented examples were chosen in order to exemplify different approaches to benchmarking in higher education setting. The study was performed on the basis of the published reports from benchmarking projects, scientific literature and the experience of the author from the active participation in benchmarking projects. The paper concludes with recommendations for university managers undertaking benchmarking, derived on the basis of the conducted analysis.