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Higher Education Institutes worldwide are investing significant resources in self study programmes to improve institutional performance, to enhance quality and to meet external stakeholder demands. The institutional impacts of both internally and externally mandated self study programmes is an area where little empirical research exists. A key question is whether self study programmes are effective (or otherwise) in leading to improvements in institutional performance and the reasons why. Covering an eight year period, from 1997–2006, this paper reports on the use of systematic evaluation methodology (Rossi et al., 2003) to evaluate the effectiveness of three self study programmes in leading to improvements in institutional performance. The impact of the programmes was assessed in two ways: (i) the degree to which the programme met its stated goals and objectives (including peer review panel recommendations) and (ii) other impacts (intended or otherwise). The methods of inquiry used were primarily qualitative and the main data sources were proceedings of the main decision making fora in the Institute, Institute publications and interviews with n=17 key informants.
Lillis, D. (2006). Bar raising or navel-gazing? :the effectiveness of self-study programmes in leading to improvements in institutional performance. European Association of Institutional Researchers, Rome.