Definitions of functions
Refers to information about the relevance of the institution’s academic offer with respect to the needs of the country (both programs and institutional accreditation), to the status of demand, and to changes in supply and demand over time. It also includes information on the institution’s comparative status with peers, obtained through benchmarking and networking exercises, among others.
Refers to information used in the operational management of the institution, both administrative and academic, including management of applications, registration, and graduation activities. It also includes management of personnel and resources, and other activities that contribute to management control.
Refers to information used for internal activities of quality management (processes of self-evaluation, evaluation of academic programs, evaluation of faculty), continuous improvement processes and external evaluations (accreditation that covers topics such as academic and institutional management), as well as any measurement of the impact of quality assurance processes.
Relations with groups of interest
Refers to information used for relations with the environment (government, accreditation agencies, media), with the production sector (private or public undertakings, employers), with other educational institutions, with alumni, as well as with internationalization activities. It also includes all activities involving interactions with the community, such as academic and cultural extensions, continuing education, and social service.
Strategic management and planning
Refers to information used for strategic management and planning such as scorecards, organizational goals and performance indicators.
Definitions of competencies
It is defined as the ability to analyze data using quantitative or qualitative methodologies, which allows to describe a situation, to make comparisons or, at a more advanced level, to develop models (explanatory or predictive), of institutional phenomena, in order to contribute to the resolution of problems. This ability to analyze is usually related to team work, and the knowledge and experience of the participants.
It consists in identifying ways to measure and compare the performance of different institutions using consistent comparison criteria. It is a distinctive competency given that it requires the compilation of external data not always pre-structured for comparison purposes. It starts with a basic level of simple awareness of the existence of this type of processes, through the implementation of existing studies, culminating in the development of new benchmarking initiatives. It can also refer to groups of institutions that wish to compare among themselves and excludes external rankings.
It facilitates the use of the knowledge generated. At the most basic level, communication is reactive in providing basic information when it is requested. The competency evolves to a proactive level of distributing timely information on an ongoing basis. Communication skills includes the ability to identify the audience as well as the purpose of reports/studies to take them into account in the communication design. Eventually, it seeks to open new channels of communication, to reach different audiences and to generate greater impact.
It consists of the different skills needed to get the information necessary to prepare reports or studies. It includes the collection of data from surveys of different interest groups (ranging from a basic level where the IR professional keeps abreast of the existence of certain surveys, through the participation in ongoing surveys, and culminating in the elaboration and implementation of new instruments if necessary), the collection of data with other qualitative methods (focus groups, key informant interviews), or extracting data from administrative databases. Data from the host institutions or from other organizations may be compiled.
It is defined as the ability to create and produce reports from a basic level with static data on individual organizational areas, evolving to the production of reports with pre-established procedures, and culminating in the creation of reports on data that had not previously occurred. As IR advances, there is a progression to facilitate self-directed access to the data and to user-friendly designs and visualizations that facilitate the understanding of information.
Includes the development of academic and/or applied research skills. It seeks the development of innovative studies that generate new knowledge or generate innovative solutions to practical problems. It can refer both to the improvement and innovation of educational practices at the institution, as well as to academic studies presented at conferences or submitted to peer reviewed publications. The emphasis is not on repeating existing practices, but rather on innovating.
Definitions of organizational sectors
Includes information on undergraduate and graduate students, such as the income profile (e.g., type of school, socio-economic characteristics prior to entrance, demographic information), admission (e.g., admission average, academic career prior to admission, application and selection), adaptation programs (e.g., diagnostic and remedial), enrollment, attrition, academic achievement (e.g., attendance, qualifications) and obtaining the degree (e.g., graduation, time to graduate).
Includes all information about activities involving the community or through which the institution contributes to society, as well as all information pertaining to the analysis and understanding of its environment. It also includes information on relations between the institution and other organizations (partnerships and relations with the government, the accreditation agencies, or the media), linkages with the production sector (private or public undertakings, employers), international relations, relations with other institutions (other higher education or secondary schools), follow-up of alumni (job placement, surveys) as well as academic, cultural and sports extension activities, continuing education, and social services.
Includes information on budgets and budgetary control, program costing, financial statements, income sources, accounting, medium and long-term financial assessments, projections of revenues and expenses, management of strategic projects, as well as other sources of financial information of the institution.
Includes information about faculty (e.g., academic degree, training and development, career and professional activities, performance and its evaluation, academic rank or categorization, career path, work plans [i.e., hours devoted to teaching, research, extension and management], recruitment, wages and benefits) as well as about the staff, such as managers, professionals, administrators and technicians (e.g. career path, hiring, salaries). It also includes information on the satisfaction of staff (surveys).
Infrastructure and equipment
Includes information about the facilities (rooms, laboratories, workshops or other specialized learning rooms, green spaces, sports or cultural areas), availability, habitability and ease of access of the facilities, the library (collection, access, computers), the technological infrastructure (information systems that support the management of data, infrastructure for distance education or other practical activities, bandwidth) as well as information about the equipment to support teaching, research, or other functions (availability, quality).
Includes both academic and applied research, as well as innovation and experimental development activities. Information on research projects, internal funding, public or private funding, research centres and research products is considered (e.g., publications, patents, enterprises or other relevant products that enable the dissemination of knowledge).
Includes information on scholarships (internal or external, distribution of funds), co- and extra-curricular activities (sports, social, cultural), academic support services (peer students, psychoeducational support), food services, other services to students (funds for student entrepreneurship, clubs and organizations) as well as student surveys (satisfaction, participation).