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Performance-based Funding of Universities in Europe

The EUA - European university Association released a new report in July, which maps the use of performance-based funding of universities across Europe and analyses the impact this has on university management, teaching and research as well as the higher education system as a whole. The report reveals performance-based funding of universities is not a magic formula

  • Posted on: 15.07.2015
  • Year of publication: 2015

Website: Link

The report “Performance-based Funding of Universities in Europe” gives an overview of performance elements in public funding for universities in 28 systems across Europe and focuses in particular on funding formulae with output indicators (such as numbers of graduates) and performance contracts. It combines system level data with case studies in a unique way and assesses the opportunities, risks and limits of performance-based funding. The analysis reveals that expectations towards performance-based funding are often too high. It further concludes that this funding mechanism should be used with caution and considered in the wider context. The report also outlines strategies for managing performance-based funding in order to reap its full benefits and mitigate the risks.  


With this report EUA provides key recommendations to policy makers and public funders for the design and implementation of sustainable and efficient university funding systems. It also supports university leaders and managers in their strategic planning and internal funding allocation at institutional level and offers advice and good practice examples from across Europe. The complexity of funding systems and the diversity across Europe make comparisons challenging, but EUA hopes that the overview provided in the report will help structure the debate about funding reforms at European, national and institutional levels.

After the two reports on Funding for Excellence (December 2014) and University Mergers (April 2015) this is the last one in the series of Thematic Reports coming out of the EUA-led DEFINE project on Designing Strategies for Efficient Funding of Higher Education in Europe (2012-2015) which is co-funded by the European Union under the Lifelong Learning Programme.

Source: EUA newsletter | Document type: Report / Research/ Studies | S&T field/scope: Education | Affilation and Pillar: Key stakeholders, Research and innovation community, Research and Innovation support Initiatives | Geographical focus: EU Member States

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