Evaluation process

Phases of the evaluation process 

The evaluation process consists of the following phases:

  • a self-evaluation process with the aim to enhance the institutional strategic leadership, capacity for improvement and change through self-reflection. It is followed by a self-evaluation report which provides information to the evaluation team, with emphasis on the institution's strategic and quality management activities;
  • two site visits of an evaluation team (one visit in case of follow-up evaluations), composed of current or former European rectors or vice-rectors, a student and a senior higher education expert;
  • an evaluation report, which is published online, that highlights good practices identified and includes recommendations for improvement;
  • follow-up procedure: within one year of publication of the final evaluation report, the institution submits to the IEP secretariat and the evaluation team a progress report. Evaluated institutions are encouraged to register for a follow-up evaluation carried out by IEP one to three years after the initial evaluation.

Indicative timeline

The following is an indicative timeline of the evaluation process, for institutions that register for an IEP evaluation during the regular registration period in spring. The IEP secretariat is prepared to work with each participating institution to adapt this timeframe to its specific circumstances and requirements.

Stage 1: March-June

  • The institution registers for participation in the Institutional Evaluation Programme, usually by the end of June.

Stage 2: July-October

  • The institution is expected to pay the fee for the evaluation by the end of September, unless exceptionally agreed otherwise with the IEP Secretariat.
  • IEP establishes an evaluation team for each participating institution.
  • The participating institutions are invited to attend a workshop organised by IEP to discuss the objectives of the evaluation and to receive guidance on planning the process, including the self-evaluation phase.

Stage 3: October-February

  • Self-evaluation phase: the participating institutions undergo a self-evaluation process and provide IEP with a self-evaluation report on the basis of the IEP guidelines. (Please note: the self-evaluation report must be received four weeks prior to the first site visit.)

Stage 4: March-April

  • External evaluation phase begins: the evaluation team conducts a first site visit to the institution and requests any additional information as appropriate.
  • The institution submits any additional information as requested by the evaluation team.

Stage 5: May-June

  • The evaluation team makes a second site visit to the institution, at the end of which it presents an oral summary of its conclusions.

Stage 6: July-September

  • IEP presents the written report to the institution for comments on factual errors.
  • IEP sends the finalised report to the institution.
  • IEP publishes the evaluation report on its website here.

A more detailed description of each of the steps in the evaluation process is available in the Guidelines for institutions.