Baring in mind; a) university accountability towards the state and all stakeholders (that engage in institutional goal setting and operation and are influenced by their results); b) globalization that encourages the mobility of academic staff and students and hence stresses the need for international comparability of higher education systems; study programmes and degrees; c) the European objectives to create the area of European Higher Education which presupposes evaluation; d) global competition of higher education institutions in order to create attractive educational multi-cultural environments and the trend towards university collaboration and e) the opportunity to improve and eliminate institutional weaknesses; universities should have a suitable and reliable management system with processes and mechanisms of performance measurement that would allow comparisons and improvement (Wakim; Bushnell;1999; Pounder;1999; Al-Turki; Duffuaa; 2003; Diamond; 2002; Meyerson; Massy;1994; Welsh; Metcalf; 2003).
The effective management of any higher education system presupposes evaluation of results in institutional; departmental and study programme level. So; many evaluation approaches have been developed and successfully implemented globally with similarities and differences. Therefore; the present paper aims to present the different university performance evaluation approaches used internationally and examine the scientific correctness and suitability of the most common ranking systems; based on the presentation of issues regarding ranking systems that are raised in literature.
Keywords: Performance; Evaluation; Higher Education; Ranking Systems