Health University Ratings System (HURS): What is it?

By Phasawit Jutatungcharoen, Programme Officer
14 December 2020

At the 6th AUN-HPN International Advisory Committee (IAC) Meeting on 5 November 2020, the AUN-HPN Secretariat introduced the Healthy University Rating System (HURS), intended as a new benchmark for institutions to measure their progress in promoting a healthier campus in terms of behavior and capacity. The system also monitors the extent to which policies penetrate each faculty and department within the institution. While the system has been in development for almost two years, AUN-HPN is preparing for an initial trial session from early to mid-2021.

During a meeting of the AUN-HPN steering committee in late-2018, it was decided that a system for monitoring and evaluating progress of health policies within institutions was needed. This resulted in the development of Mahidol - ASEAN Rating on Healthy University (MARHU), later the ASEAN Rating on Healthy University (ARHU) in 2019, and finally the Healthy University Rating System (HURS) in 2020. This name change reflected the expanding scope for the application of the system at the international level.

HURS functions as a five-star rating scale rather than rankings in previous iterations. The rating system is intended to emphasize the strengths of each institution rather than overall comparisons. A score and point calculation system would be used to calculate and quantify the progress of each institution based on 22 indicators derived from the Healthy University Framework. Member universities will be able to evaluate themselves using an online HURS survey with a maximum of four stars, while five stars could only be achieved after inviting AUN-HPN trained and appointed evaluators to assess the status. This is meant to help universities measure their progress internally while being accountable to external evaluation for verification.

Following the presentation at the 6th AUN-HPN International Advisory Committee Meeting and subsequent consultation, HURS is entering its testing phase. AUN-HPN members are now being invited for the trial version of the system until the end of 2020, with universities performing self-evaluation and sharing their data from January to February 2021. The outcomes of this exercise will be used as inputs to improve and finalize the tool before formally proposing to AUN member universities for endorsement and wider utilization.