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The internal efficiency in higher education: An analysis based on economies of scope

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image of Frontiers of Education in China

Among the studies of the internal efficiency in higher education, most have focused on the scale of university (the economies of scale), but little on internal operating efficiency in higher education, especially on the combined efficiency of outputs (the economies of scope). There are few theoretical discussions or experimental research on whether teaching resources are complementary with research resources, or whether resources in undergraduate cultivation are shared with those in postgraduate training. In the background of the resource scarcity, it is significant to study the economies of scope in higher education to realize intensive development of higher education. Based on the multiproduct cost function and the data of universities attached to the Ministry of Education, this paper attempts to deal with the complementarities of resources used in undergraduate cultivation, postgraduate training and research to find that universities produce these outputs without sufficient resource sharing, the diseconomies of scope in postgraduate training is highest. As far as the quality of teaching and research are concerned, diseconomies of scope of the outputs are great. The main reasons are as follows: poor distribution of facilities, teachers and books, overlapping internal management systems, and the current postgraduate cultivation model. Therefore, relative departments should take internal resource sharing in higher education into account when making the administration policy of higher education.


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