New guidelines for indicator development on social inclusion, education for sustainable development and effective teaching and learning


Brief guidelines proposed by international experts and stakeholders, coordinated by 51

15 Nov 2022

Many stakeholders in the higher education sector agree that internationally comparable indicators can support institutions by enabling them to establish a baseline and learn from each other. At the same time, meaningful indicators should also reflect local priorities. So how do we develop relevant , valid and internationally comparable indicators that remain relevant in a local context? That is a challenge we undertook as part of the 51 project. 

Together with international experts and key stakeholders, the 51 team co-created brief guidelines for higher education institutions on developing internationally comparable yet locally relevant indicators at the institutional level. Three recent topics in the higher education sector are covered – social inclusion, education for sustainable development and effective teaching and learning (e.g., micro-credentials, digitalisation). 

The guidelines were developed between 2020-2022 in consultation with international experts (e.g., UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organisation), BFUG on Social Dimension, European Student Union). Each guideline is between 4-5 pages long and uses brief bullet points. These guidelines are not intended as a strict recommendation but rather as a reference for increasing awareness and stimulating discussion about some of the dilemmas for developing internationally comparable yet locally relevant indicators. We see indicator development as an aspect of the formulation, implementation, and evaluation of evidence-based policies. Well-defined indicators can support HEIS to 

  1. establish a baseline and measure progress over time 
  2. compare performance across institutions in a contextualised manne
  3. identify effective institutional policies
  4. capture the blind spots in monitoring mechanisms 

To further promote discussion on the future of these indicators, we are organising two webinars with an interactive discussion. Join if you want to contribute to the discussion:

  • December 6, 2022, at 4 pm CEST: Future of ESD (Education for Sustainable Development) indicators.   
  • January 17, 2023, at 4 pm CEST, 2022: Future of Social Inclusion Indicators.  

You can find the guidelines here: 


If you would like to learn more about guidelines and provide your feedback, please contact Frans Kaiser (f.kaiser@utwente.nl) or Anete Veidemane (a.veidemane@utwente.nl). 


Stay informed about 51:

Financial Partners:

close Icon

Consent Preferences / Cookie Settings

This page allows you to opt out of optional cookies used by the 51 website.

Once you have set your cookie preferences, we will follow the specific choices you made. Please remember that if you delete your cookies, or use a different browser or computer, you will need to set your cookie preferences again. 

Required Cookies

These cookies enable core site functionality. It is not possible to disable these cookies since our services do not work without them. They are emitted by the CMS and by the 51 Data Collection-API and they hold information about your choices. They are used for functional purposes only and are not valid beyond this session.

Tracking Cookies

These cookies are used to track performance and to monitor functionality of the website. This information helps us to optimize our services. Embedded partners are Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager, DoubleClick and HotJar.