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1 The new unified French evaluation agency for research and higher education: a direct consequence of the international rankings Pr. Alain Menand, Director.

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Presentation on theme: "1 The new unified French evaluation agency for research and higher education: a direct consequence of the international rankings Pr. Alain Menand, Director."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 The new unified French evaluation agency for research and higher education: a direct consequence of the international rankings Pr. Alain Menand, Director For Higher Education Programmes and Awards of AERES - Agence dEvaluation de la Recherche et de lEnseignement Supérieur- 20, rue Vivienne Paris December 12 th 2007

2 2 The French universities place in international ranking s The The Shanghai ranking (Liu, 2003, Liu et al., 2004, 2005…) is probably not the best one (if any), but it is the one which have got an incredible media attention. France which is the world's fifth (or sixth) largest (economic) power obtain only three universities in top 200. The best university, Paris-VI, holds 45th place in the Shanghai Jiao Tong University list.

3 3 The French universities place in international rankings Ranking may be done using parameters in a different way taking into account the size. 43rd place and ENS 79 th but they are the only two French HEIs whereas UK places 14 HEIs. For instance in The Top 100 Global Universities The Ecole Polytechnique holds 43rd place and ENS 79 th but they are the only two French HEIs whereas UK places 14 HEIs.

4 4 May be the problem lies in the French university system itself. There are two main possibilities : The research itself is not good The organisation of HEIs and research institutions is not appropriate

5 5 The organisation of research and HEIs and is not appropriate What are the main characteristics of the French system ? Highly centralized Egalitarian (supposed to be) Highly complex

6 6 A highly complicated system An example the Grenoble site : Three HEIs : The Joseph Fourier university (Grenoble 1) The Mendes-France university (Grenoble 2) The Institut National Polytechnique de Grenoble Two major research institution centers of : The CNRS The CEA +……………

7 7 A highly complicated system Another example with Lyon : Three universities Lyon 1 (Claude Bernard), Lyon 2 (Lumière), Lyon 3 (Jean Moulin) and the two ENS Lyon Two major engineering schools : Ecole Centrale INSA +……… All with research laboratories mixed with the CNRS

8 8 A highly complicated research system Research institutions : Universities (85) other HEIs (mainly engineering shools) National research institutions : CNRS, CEA, INSERM, INRA, INRIA, Some with mixed laboratories with universities, mostly CNRS and INSERM

9 9 A highly complicated system also for evaluation The national research institutions, CNRS, CEA, INSERM, INRA, INRIA……., had all their own evaluation system. The universities labs were evaluated by the ministry of research if not associated to a national research institution. The universities and the institutions were evaluated by the CNE and CNR every XX years.

10 10 The organisation of research and HEIs is not appropriate Highly centralized Egalitarian (supposed to be) Highly complex The new Law, LRU, Liberty and Responsibility for Universities will move the system to a decentralized and more simple one.

11 11 More autonomy implies more ex post evaluation Agence dEvaluation de la Recherche et de lEnseignement Supérieur Evaluation Agency for Research and Higher Education

12 12 Agence dEvaluation de la Recherche et de lEnseignement Supérieur 20, rue Vivienne Paris December 12 th 2007 President Pr. Jean-François Dhainaut

13 13 The Agency PresentationPresentation Founding texts Status Organisation and operation Its missionsIts missions Its aimsIts aims Its objectivesIts objectives

14 14 Founding texts Law (April 18 th, 2006) on Research (Pact for Research) A decree (November 3 d, 2006) specifies how the Agency is organised and ruled Actual setting upActual setting up: March 20 th, 2007

15 15 Status and organisation StatusStatus: independent administrative authority OrganisationOrganisation –President, chairman of the board –Agency Board: 25 members 8 qualified personalities, 14 appointed members, 2 members of Parliament. –3 departments: 3 Directors –1 General Secretary

16 16 Operation Three departments in charge of the evaluation of:Three departments in charge of the evaluation of: –Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) and Research institutions - Also assesses evaluation procedures for personnels ; –Activity of Research Units ; –Programmes and awards of HEIs. Supported by:Supported by: –3 Advisers – Permanent staff (58): administrative and research staff –42 fulltime Scientific Advisers positions.

17 17 Missions Expansion of the missions of:Expansion of the missions of: –CNE, –CNER, –MSTP. New missions:New missions: –Assessment of evaluation procedures of personnel –Evaluation of all public research units and institutions

18 18 Principles An independent AgencyAn independent Agency –Its evaluations are shielded from any pressure group –Clear distinction between the evaluation process (the agency) and the accreditation decision process (ministry) A transparent AgencyA transparent Agency –CV of its members and experts are public –Procedures and evaluation reports are published (Web) –Dialogue with the entities under evaluation (visiting committees)

19 19 Specificities A single body integrating in a comprehensive way the various fields of evaluationA single body integrating in a comprehensive way the various fields of evaluation An evaluation procedure linked with the 4-year contract procedure Methods and criteria in compliance with international standards

20 20 The aims of the Agency (1) To promote the HEIsTo promote the HEIs To help them improve in all sense of termsTo help them improve in all sense of terms To evaluate their capacity to carry out the missions defined by the law and the aims they determined themselvesTo evaluate their capacity to carry out the missions defined by the law and the aims they determined themselves To assist decision makers (Ministry, institutions, students, …)To assist decision makers (Ministry, institutions, students, …)

21 21 The aims of the Agency (2) To accomplish its mission on a high level of expectations:To accomplish its mission on a high level of expectations: Through the development of internal quality assurance mechanisms, checking: –The consistency and the relevance of evaluation procedures –The feedback of evaluation programmes, in order to enhance methods –The training of its experts and its staff Fully committed to the Bologna Process: –The Agency will be externally reviewed in 2009, for ENQA full membership –And will seek international acknowledgment (registration on the European Quality Assurance Register - EQAR)


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