ACU Measures

ACU Measures

The ACU’s annual online benchmarking exercise for university management – ACU Measures – is now open for data collection.

ACU Measures is a unique opportunity for member institutions to benchmark their performance in key areas of university management in a confidential and non-competitive way.

In order to benchmark, you first need to participate by inputting your institution's data.

Unsure how to use ACU Measures? Read the survey FAQs or read our dedicated guide.


Rather than seeking to rank institutions, ACU Measures helps universities to compare and contrast their practices and policies with their peers, supporting senior university management in decision-making and strategic planning.

ACU Measures enables you to:

  • Benchmark your institution’s performance over time and demonstrate the impact of managerial changes
  • Learn about performance in a given area
  • Define your own comparison groups and produce individualised reports, tables, and charts
  • Use the results to make a case for resources, staff, or training
  • Share experiences and good practice with international colleagues
  • Identify which issues are specific to your institution, as opposed to national or regional

Focus areas

ACU Measures covers four areas: institutional profile, academic salaries and benefits, research management, and gender.

Institutional Profile | In an effort to get a more comprehensive picture of our member institutions and to enhance our member services, the ACU collects basic institutional data, including institutional type and focus, income, and staff and student numbers. Collection of this data allows more relevant results across participating institutions, allowing members to benchmark against similar institutions. This data can be benchmarked in its own right, or be combined with data from the three other focus areas.

Salaries and Benefits | Since 1997, the ACU has provided the only ongoing international analysis of comparative salary data and related conditions for academic staff. At a time of increasing staff mobility and internationalisation of university faculty, access to comparative data on salaries and benefits has never been more important as these are key factors in institutions' ability to recruit successfully and retain good quality staff. This exercise will provide factual information to assist higher education administrators and policy makers with salary and budget decisions. Read more

Research Management | Since 2001, the ACU has been working within the field of research management. Research Management (RM) is currently at very different stages of development around the world. Thus, rather than attempt to run an in-depth exercise to benchmark RM offices and/or the RM profession, this exercise looks at common RM functions. Institutions are able to benchmark their performance with others around the world in a set of common areas, such as the percentage of research-active staff within an institution, and the proportion of research income from domestic and international sources.

Gender | For 30 years the ACU Gender Programme has sought to enhance and increase the participation and profile of women in the leadership and management of higher education. This exercise allows institutions to benchmark their performance in this area, as well as in gender equity and gender mainstreaming across other areas of activity within the university.

How to participate

ACU Measures operates on an annual cycle:

  • April – data collection opens
  • June – data collection closes
  • July – benchmarking opens

Data is collected online and benchmarked using the ACU Measures platform. The participation rates for the 2018 exercise are below:

measures participation rates 2018

For detailed instructions on how to use the platform, please read the guides below:

We require only one response per area, per institution (i.e. one individual in each of the four areas completes the survey on behalf of their institution). The responses of individual institutions will be kept private and anonymous. Individual responses will only be available to users from the respective institution. Benchmarking is open to all registered users.

If you would like to participate but do not have an account, please email

ACU Measures