Italian Centre for Research on Universities & HE Systems

University governance and evaluation: public policies and management tools


Gianfranco Rebora and Matteo Turri



The programme has a broad scientific background which includes policy evaluation, governance, public management and higher education.

The main research objectives are to:

1) elaborate and propose a theoretical and empirical framework of national university systems governance which is more comprehensive and well-constructed than the models in the literature;

2) explain the functioning of the process of implementation and of the influence of governance system tools (funding and evaluation) on each other in the higher education sector and their effects on change in universities;

3) answer the research inquiry as to whether policy evaluation is a resource that is capable of legitimising itself autonomously and affirming itself thanks to the positive effects that in its view will inevitably be associated with it;

4) analyse the marked variation in the distribution and success of evaluation initiatives in the public sphere and their impact on systems of governance, taking as an explicative variable the degree of suitability and specialisation in the “circuits of evaluation” which have the task of initiating, validating and using evaluative investigations;

5) verify the potentialities and limits of the approaches and methods that go under the name of participatory or deliberative evaluation and reconstruct their impact on the “circuit of evaluation”;

6) single out the most effective methods for evaluating the outcome of university activities, taking into account analysis on the impact and effects of systems that have already been put to the test in different contexts and bearing in mind the different methods used in the various disciplines being evaluated;

7) Develop methods for revising and innovating university governance and management systems, along lines that are consistent with the above-mentioned points.

Research Unit I – University Cattaneo, LIUC


New patterns of university governance and evaluation


Gianfranco REBORA (grebora@liuc.it)


Research Unit II – CERIS-CNR, Institute for Economic Research on Firms and Growth


The transformation of steering and governance arrangements: funding and evaluation as tools for changes


Emanuela REALE (e.reale@ceris.cnr.it)

Bianca Maria POTI’, Marco SEEBER


Research Unit III – University of Milan

Department of Social and Political Studies


The evaluation of universities as public policy: the various objectives; the conditions for the institutionalisation and success of initiatives; the potentialities of participatory evaluation by way of ICT


Gloria REGONINI (gloria.regonini@unimi.it)

Fiorella DE CINDIO

Research Unit IV – University of Milan

Department of Economics, Business and Statistics


Evaluation of universities and organisational impact: an international comparison of case studies from a management perspective



Matteo TURRI (matteo.turri@unimi.it)




National Scientific Research Programme March 2010 – September 2012

Co-funded by the Italian Ministry of Education, University and Research




Varieties of Governance. Dynamics, Strategies, Capacities

The study of governance may be currently in fashion, but it is also a firmly-established lens through which the complexities of contemporary policy making can be analysed while examining the ways in which a society and its political processes are organized and steered. [...]