The cost structure of higher education in further education colleges in England
This paper examines the cost of the increased provision of higher education courses within further education colleges in England. We believe this to be the first attempt to fit a cost function specifically to the further education sector. Cost functions for a sample of 96 colleges over a 2-year period, from 2000 to 2002, are fitted using a panel data methodology as well as stochastic frontier analysis. We compare and contrast our findings with a sample of 959 US colleges. Our findings indicate that most further education colleges are able to benefit from economies of scale. Results from both methodologies suggest the presence of product-specific economies of scale, substantial ray economies of scale and indicate that higher education classroom-based courses, such as business studies, as well as vocational courses display substantial economies of scope.
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