The scorecard will be a major tool both at the national leveland at the individual institutional level, serving as a referencefor national governments wishing to benchmark their progress ongovernance reforms vis-à-vis other systems, whilst also helping toraise awareness among universities of the differences that exist inEurope. The scorecard will also help record trends and progress ona regular basis, thus effectively contributing to the consolidationof the European Higher Education Area by improving comparabilityand promoting modernisation of the sector.
The starting point for the scorecard will be the findings of theforthcoming EUA Autonomy study, an in depth comparative study ofuniversity autonomy across 34 countries based on more than 30different indicators and focussing on four main areas ofinstitutional autonomy:
• Organisational autonomy (e.g. academic andadministrative structures, institutional leadership, governancestructures)
• Academic autonomy (e.g. capacity to definestudy fields, student numbers, student selection, and the structureand content of degree programmes)
• Financial autonomy (e.g. the ability to raisefunds, own buildings, borrow money etc)
• Staffing autonomy (e.g. the ability toindependently recruit, promote and develop academic and nonacademic staff)
While it is generally accepted by universities and indeed manygovernments that increased autonomy is necessary foruniversities to modernise and respond to new demands being placedon higher education, perceptions and terminology regardinginstitutional autonomy vary greatly in Europe. To compare systemsreliably, more systematic mapping of universities’ autonomy andaccountability through a set of common indicators isnecessary. Comparability is crucial as autonomy is oftenlinked to concepts like institutional performance, excellence,quality and efficiency.