3 higher ed metrics that can truly benefit today’s students

By Ronald Bethke
May 31st, 2016


A new framework is seeking to make higher ed metrics from institutions more transparent.

The Institute for Higher Education Policy (IHEP) has produced a comprehensive new report that details the importance of a proposed new higher ed metrics framework that aims to better represent and inform students of all backgrounds.

The report, titled Toward Convergence: A Technical Guide for the Postsecondary Metrics Framework, is a companion piece that provides important details tto support and build on the findings outlined in the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s February 2016 report Answering the Call, which proposed a new higher ed metrics framework to measure the performance of institutions. That framework is intended to help policymakers, administrators and learners better understand how institutions are performing, and draws on lessons learned from a decade of efforts by states and institutions to collect and use better data.

Data Rich but Information Poor Not Good for Students

Above all, the newly released report advocates for a transparent postsecondary system that facilitates effective policy and practice, and informed choices for learners seeking degrees. Toward Convergence emphasizes the notion that postsecondary education is currently data rich but information poor, which makes improving data quality, transparency and use all the more important to allow more students (especially low-income students and students of color) the opportunity to gain access to and succeed in higher education as well as to achieve economic and social prosperity upon graduating.

The report also enumerates the technical details of the newly proposed framework. IHEP analyzed the higher ed metrics and definitions used by institutional and state initiatives, along with data specifications in national data collections, to identify points of consensus in the field. The resulting key higher ed metrics fall into three major categories: performance, efficiency and equity.

(Next page: More on the three key higher ed metrics that can benefit students)

Add your opinion to the discussion.