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Regular version of the site

­­­The Role of Universities in Society and Economy and Factors of their Productivity

Priority areas of development: economics, sociology
2019
The project has been carried out as part of the HSE Program of Fundamental Studies.

Goal of research

The purpose of the study is to develop an integrated and systematic approach to understanding of higher education contributions to society and human development in selected areas and to analyze the productivity of universities.

Methodology

The main research methods used are historical synthesis, analysis of documents and normative acts for analyzing the contribution of higher education to various spheres of society; econometric and probabilistic methods for quantitative study of the efficiency and performance of higher education institutions, including data envelopment analysis with bootstrap in order to obtain unbiased estimates, stochastic frontier analysis, times series cluster analysis, regression analysis.

Empirical base of research

To achieve the goal of the study the following data sources were used: Monitoring of performance of higher education institutions conducted by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education; Russian longitudinal monitoring survey conducted by Higher School of Economics; data by Russian Federal State Statistics Agency; Analytical components of the integrated system of financial management.

Results of research

The results of the study show that universities can make a significant contribution to various spheres of society. In particular, the following areas of higher education contribution have been theoretically developed: the role of higher education in shaping the policies of states in the areas outside of education; the role of higher education in the development of cross-border networks in creation of knowledge; the role of higher education in the formation of intangible goods (for an individual/society); the role of higher education in the formation of national state (state building); cultural dimension of higher education and its contribution; the role of higher education in regional development; changing the social functions of higher education in a post-massification society; contribution of higher education to the development of civil society. To analyze the efficiency and performance of higher education institutions as a key factors affecting their contribution, theoretical models of changes in these indicators have been developed taking into account the transformations: in the autonomy regimes of higher education institutions; in the scale of universities as a result of merger policies; in the system of public financing of higher education institutions (transition to the system of accountability based on the quantitative results of their activities). On the basis of the described models, empirical estimates of the influence of various transformations on the efficiency and performance of universities were obtained.

Level of implementation, recommendations on implementation or outcomes of the implementation of the results

The results of the study are relevant both from the point of view of theory and from the point of view of practical recommendations for the public policy in the field of higher education. In particular, the results of the study can be used for development of new models of higher education public financing in order to maximize the efficiency and performance of universities; for the analysis of changes in autonomy level of higher education institutions; analysis of resizing of universities through merger policies. 

Publications:


Agasisti T., Shibanova E., Platonova D., Lisyutkin M. The Russian Excellence Initiative for higher education: a nonparametric evaluation of short-term results // International Transactions in Operational Research. 2020. Vol. 27. No. 4. P. 1911-1929. doi