What is Institutional Research?

The purpose of institutional research is to provide objective, systematic and thorough research that supports the institution's enrolment goals, planning, policy formation and decision making.

"Broadly, 'institutional research' is viewed as a range of activities involving the collection, analysis and interpretation of information descriptive of an institution and its activities, including its students and staff, programs, management and operations. The findings of such 'institutional research' can assist institutional leaders (in both academic and administrative domains) through informing their planning and decision making."

Zimmer, B; JIR, Vol. 4 No.1, May 1995, pg.74, "Achieving quality within funding constraints: the potential contribution of institutional research".

Institutional research:

  • assists the executive of the institution, Heads of Faculty, senior administrators, management and educational committees in their planning and assessment activities
  • serves as a primary contact with state and federal agencies with respect to information reporting
  • responds to internal and external data requests
  • produces educational and organisational studies, reports and summaries
  • develops and maintains a cycle of regular institutional studies, reports and databases designed to support recurring decision needs of the institution
  • serves as a reliable source for comprehensive and authoritative information about the institution
  • oversees the institution's response to national statistical surveys, questionnaires and other non-routine requests for data or information
  • serves as a resource for techniques of institutional research, research methodologies and the design and execution of information systems and surveys


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