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Curtin University
Office of Strategy and Planning


Benchmarking is a structured, collaborative, learning process for comparing practices, processes or performance outcomes. Its purpose is to identify comparative strengths and weaknesses, as a basis for developing improvements in academic quality. Benchmarking can also be defined as a quality process used to evaluate performance by comparing institutional practices to sector good practice.

Benchmarking needs to accommodate the significant contextual variations that exist in the Australian higher education sector between providers with different missions, educational and student profiles, and scale of operations. The purpose of benchmarking is not to standardise, but to reveal variations, and establish whether those variations arise from the individual natures of the aspect under examination, or from variations in quality or academic standards.

Benchmarking allows the University to:

  • identify and monitor standards and performance in order to improve University outcomes, processes and practices;
  • pursue new ideas for achieving the University's key strategies as outlined in the Strategic Plan;
  • provide an evidence-based framework for change and improvement;
  • inform planning and goal setting;
  • improve decision-making through referencing comparative data; and
  • bring an external focus on its activities.

Examples of Benchmarking Activities

  • Student Experience Survey (SES)
    SES results are used as Key Performance Indicators for measuring performance in Teaching and Research (Student Experience) in Curtin's 2017-2020 Strategic Plan and are benchmarked against ATN and Go8 universities.
    Please visit the Office of Strategy & Planning (Staff access only).
  • eLearning - Benchmarking reports with other universities
  • Griffith University
  • University of Sydney

Benchmarking Tools