Source:The World Bank (2016)
Higher education institutions (HEI) have three major functions: education, research, and service. Each HEI differs in the priority of these functions based on their mission and consists of multiple stakeholders who are all invested in performing these functions. HEIs use multiple forms of data to measure each of the three major functions. The gap in information pertains to outcomes. Most stakeholders will agree that the desired outcomes of higher education include the development of appropriate levels of knowledge and skills; the ability to integrate and apply knowledge to a variety of problems; and the acquisition of intellectual and social habits and dispositions in preparation for productive, responsible citizenship. HEIs collect information at the student level through the number of student applications, number of students admitted, and number of students accepted who enroll all of which provide basic ‘quantity’ measures. They also look at average performance on secondary school leaving exam (that is, the scholastic aptitude test (SAT) and the American college testing (ACT) in the case of the United States (U.S.)) and average performance in secondary school (that is, average high school grade point average (GPA) in the case of the U.S.) which provides basic quality measures. Typical analyses of the quality of institutions assume that HEIs with better inputs lead to better educational outputs and outcomes.