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Benchmarking on an International Scale: Lessons learned from a Deep Dive

The Coalition of Higher Education Information Technology Associations (CHEITA) comprises representatives from associations throughout the world that promote the use of information technology in higher education. CHEITA was established in 2011 to share best practices across member associations and, by extension, the individual institutions that make up those associations.

Most, if not all, of the CHEITA member associations carry out some form of benchmarking, but the outputs from those initiatives vary. Members of CHEITA recognized that in order to facilitate cross-border comparisons appropriate for the global higher education business, it would be necessary to establish a way of comparing individual institutions.

At the beginning of 2014 CHEITA created a Benchmarking Working Group with the goal of identifying a single model that would enable the international higher education IT community to use consistent and relevant information for institutional decision making.

After reviewing the approaches used by its member associations, CHEITA resolved to adopt the methodology of indexing institutional complexity, developed for CAUDIT, as the basis of its CHEITA Global Complexity Index.
Benchmarking IT internationally benefits institutions as well as communities of institutions. For individual institutions, benchmarking IT against institutions from other countries serves to broaden peer groups. This is especially useful for institutions in countries with smaller sectors or for institutions that have few comparators within their own country. In a global higher education market, institutions may have more similarity with institutions in other countries than in their own. International benchmarking allows comparisons beyond borders and promotes the sharing of good practice on a global scale.

The CHEITA Global Complexity Index has recently been used to identify and benchmark on a deeper level an international peer group of Universities.  This presentation will provide an insight into how this international benchmarking was accomplished using the CHEITA Global Complexity Index and will describe what has been learned from a deep dive benchmarking exercise across international boundaries.