Review of the Danish Evaluation Institute

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Following up the results is the concluding stage of an evaluation process and one that, in the eyes of the expert panel, is very central in ensuring that the evaluation is not merely a ritual but will also result in action.

Normally the body that conducts the evaluation will also be responsible for following it up. Other solutions, such as the model opted for in Denmark, can also function. Every educational institution accountable to the Ministry of Education and which has participated in an evaluation by producing its own self-evaluation has to draw up a plan for how it is to be followed up. Within six months of the publication of the report, this plan is to be published electronically, i.e. presented on the institution’s website.47 In the development contracts between the universities and the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation plans have to be included for evaluations and their follow-up. The governances of the different universities are responsible for these plans.

This solution means, however, that responsibility is divided between several participants with the obvious risk that the process will lack coherence and impact, or that no follow-up at all will take place. During the site visit the representatives of higher education in particular criticised the incongruity they consider to exist between EVA’s evaluations and political reactions to them.48 EVA’s management and the Committee of Representatives also expressed a desire for more obvious political interest in EVA’s evaluations.

In its self-evaluation EVA expresses a desire for “formalised possibilities to conduct a development-oriented discussion with the programmes evaluated” when evaluations have been completed. This is one with which the expert panel concurs. Making EVA responsible for follow-up would lend more weight to the current evaluation system.

Moreover the conditions that apply to internal planning and strategy at EVA would be improved. At the moment EVA has very few possibilities of finding out what is actually achieved by its evaluations and its knowledge centre operations. As a result it has an incomplete basis for the adaptation and effectivisation of its own workings.

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