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Indicators for monitoring recognised degree programmes in Catalonia

Carme Edo Ros - Project manager of AQU Catalunya

The monitoring of recognised Bachelor and Master's programmes is to begin this year in Catalan universities. The monitoring process itself, which is described in the Framework for Ex-ante Assessment, Monitoring, Modifications and Accreditation being set in motion by AQU Catalunya, is based on two sound aspects that go a long way to ensuring the success of this stage of the process that is starting now:

  • The UNEIX information system indicators, which are a fundamental instrument for analysing the quality of degree programmes in the Catalan higher education system.
  • The AQU's model for monitoring recognised degree programmes, which is a result of the experimental monitoring programme that was conceived as a framework for discussion for the universities and AQU Catalunya and resulted, amongst other things, in the monitoring methodology being established.

The UNEIX system indicators guarantee transparency and equity in the analysis of information on programmes and provide accountability consistent with European benchmarks for quality in higher education and, in particular, ESG standard 1.6, "Information systems: Institutions should ensure that they collect, analyse and use relevant information for the effective management of their programmes of study and other activities". For the various stakeholder groups, accountability is a process that is inherent to all public service activities, in particular for:

- Government managers who must allocate funding efficiently.
- The universities who need to analyse indicator results in order to enhance the quality of study programmes.
- Prospective students who deserve to be offered quality education.
- Society in general as the receiver of professionals and researchers who are trained in the universities.

It is also worth pointing out that UNEIX creates common benchmarks by standardising concepts, criteria and terminology and provides easy access to the information.

For the first year of monitoring, AQU Catalunya and UNEIX have prepared a set of indicators for degree programmes currently being taught in public universities in Catalonia, and they have been sent to the corresponding universities for use in the analysis of data when they monitor their programmes.

Indicators have been provided for more than five hundred Bachelors and Masters programmes. Details are given below.

UNEIX indicator reports

University Bachelors Bachelors (only application figures) Masters Total
UB 44 5 72 121
UAB 38 27 75 140
UPC 27 7 36 70 
UPF 22 7 23 52 
UdG 35 - 19 54
UdL 20 2 16 38 
URV 33 27 60 
Uvic 7 -  - 10 
Total degree progs. 226 48  271 545 
Total indicators 3,390 288 2,168  5,846 

Bachelor indicators:
Demand as 1st choice
Demand as 2nd choice
Demand as 3rd choice
Demand as 4th choice... (up to 7th)
Univ. entrance mark
Places offered
New admissions - entrance requirement
New admissions - place of birth (county)
New admissions - place of birth (province)
New admissions - entry grade
New admissions - highest level of studies of parents
New admissions - enrolled credits
Students enrolled
Students in work placement
Achievement rate

Master's indicators:
New admissions
New admissions - enrolled credits
New admissions - place of birth (county)
New admissions - place of birth (province)
Students in work placement
Achievement rate
Number of graduates
Transcript grade

It should be pointed out that use of the indicators will be progressively deployed over the next few years, with the information being built up and differentiated by:

- Incorporating indicators from universities that are not currently participating in UNEIX
- Increasing the indicator catalogue according to the requirements of monitoring (monitoring guidebook)

Through use of the indicators, universities should treat monitoring as an analytical assessment of how a programme is running from an academic point of view, using the information that it obtains from the figures and the indicators themselves. Following on from the analytical assessment, enhancement proposals can then be made.

The more these actions are linked to the objectives and indicator results, the more effective they will be. As such, UNEIX system indicators are advocated as key elements for programme monitoring in that they allow a system that is fast, consistent and equitable to be set up for the monitoring of degree programmes in the Catalan higher education system. We trust that this will be the case.


Generalitat de Catalunya

Via Laietana, 28, 5a planta 08003 Barcelona. Spain. Tel.: +34 93 268 89 50

© 2011 AQU Catalunya - Legal number B-21.910-2008