Performance Measurement Systems have long since been adopted by universities. They have been developed in part as a result of reforms introduced by the wave of the New Public Management, but also as consequence of the harmonization process of the education systems which have affected many countries, particularly in Europe. This paper provides an overview of the Performance Measurement Systems adopted in most European countries and introduces a critical analysis of the Italian system, focusing on the three main university missions that require evaluation. These are: research, teaching activities and transfer of technology, all of which are affected by the administrative activity. Through a documentary analysis, particular attention is given to the guidelines issued recently in Italy by the National Agency for the Evaluation of the University System and Research (ANVUR). From a critical analysis of the systems currently adopted in Italy, taking into account also the systems in other countries, the need to view university performance in a more holistic manner emerges. This would lead towards an integrated assessment of the three main missions that each university is required to accomplish.
Keywords: Performance Measurement Systems, Italian Universities, ANVUR guidelines