International Federation of Catholic Universities 21, rue d’Assas 75270 Paris Cedex 06


The Newman Benchmark: An Evaluation Framework for Catholic Universities

In recent years, various rankings (Shanghai, Times Higher Education) have emerged to establish university rankings in an academic context that has become very competitive.

Echoing a growing number of initiatives around the world to promote USR, the Newman Benchmarking Framework is a viable alternative to current rankings. By conveying principles and values that are in line with the humanist and Catholic tradition of the Church, this tool places the notion of responsibility at the heart of university life and of the entire community.

  • The Framework is the result of a three-year collaborative endeavor and includes some 160 indicators and twenty criteria sorted into 4 different areas:
  •  institutional governance
  •  environmental protection efforts
  •  practices as an employer and in the implementation of the “three missions”
  •  overall consistency with regard to institutional identity

Thanks to a partnership with the GMAP Center think tank, the Newman Benchmarking Framework is the first of its kind to rely on the use of artificial intelligence in order to offer an evaluation system that is both dynamic and respectful of the context diversity of universities. Access to this evaluation and foresight tool will enable universities to take stock of their current USR performance and obtain solid data that will help them redefine their institutional development strategies.

Providing visibility and quantifiability for their USR policies and practices will allow Catholic universities to promote their singular added value in the higher education landscape.