THE TREASURY will soon be able to find out which universities offer the best value for money - and how they compare with further education colleges, writes Harriet Swain.
A team set up by the Higher Education Funding Council for England is working on a set of performance indicators showing, for example, which institutions turn out the highest number of top-class students with the lowest drop-out rates and fewest staff.
Pressure has come from the Treasury and the Department for Education and Employment to develop the indicators, which will be looked at from the point of view of the "stakeholder".
Universities and colleges will be able to find out how they measure up in terms of the number of staff teaching each subject and the standard of students they produce.
HEFCE's new statistical unit expects to decide by November what performance indicators to use. It is also monitoring numbers of students from different backgrounds to identify patterns of behaviour.