The law tasks the AERES with evaluating research units, programmes and degrees and higher education and research institutions separately. It does not forge any interaction between the different types of evaluation. In the illustration below, download the integrated evaluation diagram .
That said, the AERES considers that, for higher education and research institutions – especially universities – the three types of evaluation cannot be carried out completely independently:
- the evaluation of higher education programmes, doctorates in particular, requires knowledge about the quality of their association with research
- the evaluation of institutions is conducted more pertinently if it takes account of evaluations of the range of programmes and research units
- the new campaign’s preparatory and feedback meetings are more effective if they are held with the three departments
Since November 2007, the AERES’ policy has been to foster interaction between the departments so as to turn its missions to best account. The concept of integrated evaluation has emerged from this “cross-fertilisation” of its activities. This has been implemented from the evaluation campaign corresponding to the 2009-2010 contract signature campaign, of which the first site to be evaluated is Bordeaux-Pau.
Integrated evaluation involves control of a complex procedure in both logistical and scientific terms within a tight schedule, as well as the allocation of the AERES’ own resources and implementation of such specific operations as the delivery in useful time of analyses and reports meeting the expectations of the department for the evaluation of institutions. Starting with the 2009-2010 campaign, the AERES has set the programme for evaluating programmes and degrees, research units and higher education and research institutions in a way that makes integrated evaluation possible. This evaluation programme has been validated by the AERES Board.
On the basis of their evaluations, the departments for the evaluation of programmes and degrees and of research units draw up and approve site reports and analyses on the basis of the evaluations that they send to the department for the evaluation of institutions. These documents provide the experts in charge of evaluating institutions with clear and explicit information for evaluating the institutional strategy, both in terms of research and the range of programmes available:
- regarding education, site reports are drawn up for the ranges of bachelor’s degrees, master’s degrees and doctorates are indicated in site reports (concerning the institution and the regional education authority).
- regarding research, for research units and federations, scientific delegates write an analysis per major scientific field of the site once this has been evaluated, possibly breaking it down per institution.
Site reports and analyses for integrated evaluation:
- shed light on research and training prospects;
- give information about how to develop these where possible;
- identify their strengths and weaknesses;
- highlight any redundancies between institutions belonging to the same site;
- make suggestions for reorganisation or bringing together.
The AERES follows up the integrated evaluation process and ensures it is consistent through:
- weekly consultation meetings between the department heads;
- joint discussions between scientific delegates from the three departments: this allows for an initial integration based on sharing information;
- the participation of scientific delegates from department 2 (research) and 3 (programmes and degrees) in meetings organised by department 1 (institutions).