There are large disparities between Spanish universities as regards both their internal characteristics and the geographical areas in which they operate. This heterogeneity makes it harder to compare their performance in terms of teaching, research and knowledge transfer, especially when such analysis is for the purpose of drawing up rankings.
The goal of this book is to identify strategic groups of universities within the Spanish system. Such identification pursues two aims: to offer a clear picture of the degree of fragmentation of the Spanish system (number of groups identified) and its characteristics (group profiles); and to facilitate analysis of the relative performance of each institution on a like-for-like basis.
Starting form a set of fifteen indicators that define each university by reference to its financial resources, the characteristics of students and faculty, organizational profile and the geographical area in which it competes, we apply a combination of conglomerate analysis and multidimensional scaling which throws up seven strategic groups. Following a description of each, we analyze their performance by the measures of teaching results, employability, quality and quantity of research, knowledge transfer and reputational capital. The results show that, although the group effect is strongly significant, intra-group differences by no means disappear, allowing to highlight the efficiency of institutions that from comparable starting points achieve above par results.
This book is aimed at educational economists, university managers, educational policy-makers and all those interested in looking more deeply at the role of universities in our society.