In Europe and in Italy, Universities are pressured to increase their performance. As a matter of fact, recently, several national governments have introduced quasi-market mechanism, pursuing the aim of encourage competition among Universities, improving efficiency, effectiveness and increasing economic viability. In this scenario, the practice of benchmarking is becoming more important as it provides a realistic approach for assessing the performance in critical areas for learning from the experience of other organisations. However, the majority of performance indicators only refers to the two main core activities of University (research and teaching), underestimating the economical-financial performances. The idea is to provide managers with a multidimensional performance evaluation system, which also consider the accounting dimension as an essential element to support strategic decisions. The paper aims to define a set of balance sheet ratios, which take into account the peculiarity of University management, meanwhile developing data-benchmarking process for monitoring and compare economic and financial dynamic in higher education institutions.
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