Technical workshop U-Map LLL Portugal, 7 April 2011
On 7 April 2011 a technical workshop on the U-Map Lifelong Learning project was held in Lisbon at the University Lusíada. The event gathered well over 50 representatives of private universities and polytechnics with their counterparts from state institutions. The workshop was organized by the Portuguese Association of Private Higher Education (APESP), in cooperation with the Portuguese Rectors Conference (CRUP) and the Council of Polytechnics (CCISP). The main goal of the workshop was to introduce the institutional representatives to the on-line questionnaire that is used for data collection.
Representing the host for the workshop, Prof. Dr. João Duarte Redondo, vice-chancellor of Lusíada University and Prof. Dr. Diamantino Freitas Gomes Durão, rector of Lusíada University welcomed the audience. Additional opening remarks were made by Prof. Dr. Luis Pais, on behalf of CCISP and Prof. Dr. Manuel Assunção on behalf of CRUP. All emphasized the benefits that participation in U-Map may bring to the Portuguese higher education institutions. In the audience were representatives from two Portuguese universities that are involved in the U-Multirank project and therefore already have had some familiarity with the U-Map questionnaire and the submission of data. Both stated that their university found the experience useful.
After this introduction, the U-Map team (Ben Jongbloed and Marike Faber) introduced the U-Map LLL Portugal project to the audience. The origins of the project, the design principles, as well as the choice of dimensions and indicators in the activity profiles were briefly explained.
Marike Faber, coordinator of the U-Map Lifelong Learning program then presented the U-Map website and the planning for the U-Map-Portugal project. She mentioned the organisations involved, the questionnaire, deadlines, the pre-filling of the questionnaire (by the Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education - MCETS), and the protocol for handling data and communicating results. The goal is to have a second workshop in Portugal later on this year in order to discuss the results.
Important features of U-Map are the Help Desk and the frequently asked questions (FAQ) section on the U-Map website. Participants are urged to make use of these tools to ask their questions and provide their suggestions to the U-Map team. In addition, E-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) and phone lines are also available for communication.
The data submission procedure was explained to the audience. This information can be found also in the U-Map protocol: http://www.u-map.org/U-Map_protocol.doc
The project will be finalized after Summer 2011. Data will have to be in around June 1st.
All Portuguese contact persons at the institutions have been provided with access codes to log on to the U-Map questionnaire. The on-line questionnaire was demonstrated in detail. The issues that were raised are described below, section by section.
The reference year for U-Map will be 2009 - not 2008. This refers to the calendar year 2009 (in many cases: the situation as of 31st December 2009), or the academic year 2009-2010. The choice of a more recent year will give a more up to date picture of the institutions and is also in line with the collection of data taking place in other countries involved in U-Map. This issue was also discussed with MCETS (the Ministry), because it will provide us with some data for the pre-filling of parts of the questionnaire. All institutions agreed with the choice of the reference year.
The first issue is to define what the delineation of the higher education institution (HEI) is. The conclusion was to also include the research institutes affiliated to the university. If these are shared between two institutions an effort should be made to split the data (on staff, income, etc.) between the participating institutions. Any research publications should also be split – unless they are by joint authors.
We will also include the teaching and research function of any academic hospitals. For these, the staff volume that relates to medical care should preferably left out. It was mentioned that it will be difficult to split up the expenditures of such hospitals. Only for the salaries part an effort can be made, but for the other expenditures the situation is more difficult.
Another issue is whether an institution has multiple campuses. In that case we prefer to include all campuses in the perimeter of the institution and its data. However, if the institution chooses to submit data only for a separate campus, it will have to make sure that the data only refer to that specific site.
About the Legal Status: Some institutions that are run by a foundation are formally private, but in reality they are still very much controlled by the government. In such cases they may choose the type: “Government-dependent Private” in the question about the character of the institution.
Please be aware that student numbers will be provided by the ministry, but institutions still need to check whether all students are included. We not just include ‘active’ students, but all students that pay a tuition fee, so also students that are only working on their thesis and that may not be counted for financing the institution.
Exchange students are only those exchange students in subsidized international programmes. Please also see the glossary on this item and the FAQ section.
There are two questions regarding the number of students from abroad.
1. The Ministry MCTES provides with data on the number of degree seeking students with a foreign nationality. 2. As for the other question, on the number of degree seeking students with a foreign qualifying diploma, institutions will need to provide this data. Not all institutions may have this data. We will try and see if the Ministry MCTES can provide with data on applicants that enter the undergraduate state (1st cycle). If this information is available, this will be communicated to the institutions. However, the number of these students will probably not be very large, since most international students will be entering at the stage of the Masters or Doctorate programme and this is where the HEIs themselves have data on.
For incoming students from the region, please be aware that Portugal has 7 regions according to the NUTS classification (Norte, Algarve, Centro, Lisboa, Alentejo, Acores, Madeira). If a HEI is situated in more than one region, its students from the region can originate from more than one NUTS2 region.
MCTES will not be able to deliver data on graduate numbers before the middle of June. Therefore the HEIs themselves will have to submit data on graduates. To allow the data to be included in the categories for Levels (Short cycle, Bachelor, Master, Undivided, Doctorate, short first cycle, 3rd cycle degrees) we discussed our proposition during the workshop. The final categorization of the different degree level will be communicated to the institutions at a later date. As for the Doctorate degrees: it was decided that we only include the considered doctorate degrees and not the ones that are recognized.
For the categorization into ISCED groups we will ask the Ministry MCTES for a translation table. If this is available, this list will also be distributed to the institutions.
The orientation of the degrees (general formative, licensed, career-oriented) is a problematic issue. Respondents are urged to check the Glossary and the websites that are referred to.
The region-issue was also discussed in the context of the graduates (where they work). It was indicated that there is little information and that HEIs may want to make an estimate here.
MCTES can provide staff headcount data (REBIDES database), but not the Full-time Equivalents data. So the HEIs should provide the latter. Please include staff from research centres and academic hospitals (if any). PhD students are not included.
MCTES can also provide data on staff holding foreign nationality.
It is mentioned that some items may be difficult to get data on. We are in fact “over-asking” a bit on items like Research Council (=competitive) funds and International/European funds. It is essential to try and provide data on CPD income, Private research funds and (if any) Licensing & Copyright income, since these items feed into indicators.
It was also mentioned that private institutions can provide data on income.
There was quite some discussion on the items “Direct basic government funding for teaching” and “Direct basic government funding for research”. The lump sum received by each institution is in fact mostly tied to teaching parameters and one should not artificially split the lump sum into a teaching and a research part. It was felt that institutions should not mix up the use of that budget with the drivers of the budget. Most institutions do not use cost accounting anyway and do not hold records on time spent on Teaching versus time spent on Research anyway. Therefore, the idea is to mostly include the lump sum under the item “Basic gov’t funding for teaching”.
Direct basic government funding for teaching should exclude the budget received for student support services (social welfare budget), but include any budget received for teaching and learning. The social welfare budget should go under the category: ‘Other activities’ (under Other sources like donations). The latter category also includes income received from the European Union for cultural programs.
Income received due to consultancy services provided to businesses should be included under “Privately Funded Research Contracts”, even if some feel that this does not relate to research. This corresponds to the Glossary.
If institutions do not have exact data on the split between national, international and regional income, they should try and make an approximation.
HEIs should try and split their total expenditure (not just salaries!) between Teaching, Research, Knowledge Exchange and Other. Again, most HEIs will not have any information on the time spent on these activities, so they will have to make an estimate here.
The question/item “Who owns the buildings” was felt not to give any useful information, as it does not say anything about actual expenditures made on buildings or the accounting system (cash versus accrual accounting) in use at the HEI. The answer is used only as background information, and does not feed into an indicator.
Research and Knowledge Exchange
The peer reviewed publications definition was mentioned. It includes Web of Science publications, but also Portuguese (refereed) articles, books and PhD dissertations.
Data on “Professional publications” can produce some problems, since there are no databases on these. An estimate will have to be provided. The goal is to have only those publications that are bibliographically traceable.
Concerts & Exhibitions may also produce some problems. Respondents are urged to make use of the Comments Box in the Questionnaire. Master Classes open to the general public may be included. For the definition of this item, please see the Glossary and the FAQ section on the website.
Start-up firms: the Glossary provides with a narrow definition of what can be included here. It was mentioned that institutions may not have hard data on this item.
CHEPS will communicate with the Ministry MCTES about some of the classification issues (categorization of degrees and graduates). The outcomes will be communicated to the contact persons. Any data that can be used for pre-filling the questionnaire will – as we can foresee now - be ready in the week of 25 April. The data will be used for constructing the institutional activity profile for the HEIS in summer 2011.
The organisers of the conference (Lusíada university / Minerva Foundation) are once again thanked for the very good facilities and the lunch that was provided. The CHEPS team hopes to meet the participants again in the autumn at the second workshop when we will disseminate the results of U-Map in Portugal.