A solid base for decisions

Don F. Westerheijden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)
105 Downloads (Pure)


To gain insight into the use of the VSNU research quality evaluations (since 1993) in the practice of research and of institutional management in Dutch universities, interviews were held in eight cases evaluated in the first year of this procedure. The main conclusions are that use of these research evaluations is universal, both ’instrumentally‘ (in decisions directly based on the judgements) and ’incrementally‘ (in decision-making processes not directly linked to the evaluation). Underlying this is ’conceptual use‘: an important change in deans‘ and rectors‘ views of their role in managing research, which they now can realise, because the VSNU research evaluations give them, for the first time, solidly legitimate arguments on which to base strategic decisions. Next to use, other effects can be discerned within universities, pointing to a growing dependency of researchers on managers, necessitating amongst others ever more consciously strategic publication behaviour. Whether quality of research improves in this way, cannot be answered here, but certainly it is more difficult for academics not to engage in research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)397-413
Number of pages16
JournalHigher education
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1997


  • IR-85808
  • METIS-100298
  • Quality Evaluation
  • Important Change
  • Strategic Decision
  • Research Evaluation
  • Research Quality


Dive into the research topics of 'A solid base for decisions'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this