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The allocation of PhD enrolment quotas in China’s research-oriented universities based on equity and efficiency principles


  • Tian-Tian Zhu
  • Yue-Jun Zhang
  • Ke Wang


PhD enrolment quota allocation proves the key concern for China’s universities to promote institutional reform and improve research level, and it is often characterized by the zero sum game among schools within a university. Therefore, this article develops a new indicator system for PhD enrolment quota allocation and efficiency evaluation in China, and then it reallocates the quotas considering the preferences of decision-makers and the efficiency based on the historical data during 2011–2015 in a research-oriented university in China. The results indicate that, first, the preferences of decision-makers in the university for article publications and research funds may significantly affect the allocation of PhD enrolment quotas among schools. Second, when the linear combination weighting method is used, the overall efficiency for PhD enrolment allocation proves the highest, among various weighting methods concerned. Finally, to improve the overall efficiency of the 19 schools, five social science schools and four engineering schools have to cut their PhD enrolment quotas; among them, three engineering schools should reduce the largest redundant quotas sharply. The methods and results in this article are conducive to the allocation of education resources which have the zero sum feature and are often accompanied with undesirable outputs.

Suggested Citation

  • Tian-Tian Zhu & Yue-Jun Zhang & Ke Wang, 2018. "The allocation of PhD enrolment quotas in China’s research-oriented universities based on equity and efficiency principles," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 50(37), pages 3992-4004, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:applec:v:50:y:2018:i:37:p:3992-4004
    DOI: 10.1080/00036846.2018.1438585

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