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Research Institute for Higher Education and Science (INAECU)

Telephone
+34 916248468

Type of institute

Carlos III Institute
Year: 2012

Charges

  • Director: Elías Sanz Casado
  • Sub-director: Flor Sánchez Fernández
  • Secretary: Fernando Casani Fernández de Navarrete

Objectives

The Intercollegiate Institute of Advanced Research on Evaluation of Science and Universities endeavours to achieve the following aims:

  • 1. Unify resources, joining personnel who are from different institutions and disciplines yet carry out research in related areas.
  • 2.  Overcome the insufficiency of the departmental structure of Spanish universities, following the proposal of the Organic Law on Universities which foments the creation of university institutes as a focal point of research activity.
  • 3. Promote research in the field of Studies and Evaluation of Science and University Activity from a multidisciplinary perspective.
  • 4. Develop specific postgraduate programs in the sphere of evaluation of science, technology and university activity which produce high-quality professionals.
  • 5. Aid networking in inter-institutional cooperation to foster work between researchers from different institutions, on both national and international levels.
  • 6. Create one institution which unifies the activities of research, teaching and service to institutions interested in the study of the evaluation of science, technology and university activity.
  • 7. Strengthen the alliance between universities with the creation of an institution which collaboratively joins researchers from the two universities.
  • 7.1. Maintain a complete data base of indicators of scientific activity which can be accessed by the two universities.
  • 7.2. Provide service to the two universities to meet their needs for information about and analysis of the scientific activity of their own universities. Along these lines, it should be noted that it is increasingly important to have good bibliometric and scientometric information about scientific activity in order to follow strategic plans and carry out benchmarking or comparative studies with other institutions.
  • 7.3. Provide service to the two universities, organizing conferences, seminars and courses about university policy and administration to sensitize and educate the university community. Generate information and establish methodologies that help improve tools of analysis and administration of university decisions.
  • 7.4. Undertake multidisciplinary research projects on the basis of information contained in the data bases. This will promote scientific cooperation between researchers from the four institutions.
  • 8. Present projects to different national and European funding bids as well as enter into contracts with companies or other types of institutions.
  • 9. Offer information about Spanish scientific activity to society in general by way of the Observatorio de la Actividad Investigadora de las Universidades Españolas ( Observatory of Research Activities in Spanish Universities initialled IUNE in Spanish) as well as through collaboration with the media to publicize the main results.
  • 10. Be a point of reference in Spain in the sphere of evaluation of scientific activity and policy and administration of the Spanish university system. To this end, the agreement with the Ministry of Education to endorse the data of the indicators from the IUNE has been crucial.
     

Lines of research

The institute encompasses two main areas of activity: evaluation of scientific and technological activity, and university policy and administration.

a) the field of evaluation of scientific and technological activity

  • The Institute of Advanced Research on Evaluation of Science and Universities endeavors to deal with this field of study from a multidisciplinary perspective; as such, the development of the following lines of research are being considered:
  • Sociology of science and technology: included are studies about the process of production of new knowledge, focusing on cognitive, contextual and historical aspects that give rise to the emergence and consolidation of specific disciplines, academic trends or scientific institutions.
  • Scientific communication: covers research focussed on the process of publicizing the results of the research. It includes bibliometric studies as well as analysis of public communication and popularization of science.
  • Institutional Evaluation: focuses on the development of methodologies and indicators which allow for the appropriate description and evaluative analysis of activity carried out in institutions devoted to the fields of science and technology. This area is ideal for studies about scientific policy and scientometrics.
  • Studies about scientific activity in university settings: Given that universities are one of the main actors in the process of producing knowledge, their study is extremely important. Learning about, comparing and proposing activity profiles of different institutions will be one of the main areas of study in this line of research.

b) the field of policy and administration of universities

  • The Institute also aims to deal with this field of study from a multidisciplinary perspective, considering the following lines of research:
  • Policies and strategies of university systems: Included in this section is the study and research of the historical evolution of higher education, which at present is undergoing important changes. It is worth noting the growing importance of international rankings and their consequences on different systems, as in Spain with the International Campus of Excellence program. Within the new missions of the university, the transfer of knowledge to the system of production and, in turn, the territorial effects of universities take on special importance and must be the focus of study.
  • Strategy and quality of institutions of higher learning: Universities are undergoing an extensive process of change which calls for researching how to adapt their systems of governance and administration to the current situation. This adaptation requires the creation of management teams endowed with strong leadership skills and the abilities necessary to drive the processes of change, specifically, those abilities that can help develop strategies of differentiation and specialization that guarantee the sustainability of the institution within a more competitive university system and one which has greater levels of evaluation and control. It is also necessary to study the possibility of finding new sources of financing through policies of public prices or other means that are still uncommon in Spain, such as fundraising.

Contact email: research@uc3m.es