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The Cost Structure of Higher Education in Further Education Colleges in England

  • Pamela Lenton

    ()

    (Department of Economics, The University of Sheffield)

This paper examines the cost of the provision of higher education courses within further education colleges in England. The further education sector is complex because of the wide range of courses it provides both in terms of subject type and of qualification level. 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 two-year period, from 2000 to 2002, are fitted using a panel data methodology as well as stochastic frontier analysis. 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 that higher education classroom-based courses, such as business studies, along with vocational courses display substantial economies of scope.

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File Function: Revised version, 2006
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Paper provided by The University of Sheffield, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 2006010.

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Length: 26 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2006
Date of revision: Sep 2006
Handle: RePEc:shf:wpaper:2006010
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  1. Dundar, Halil & Lewis, Darrell R., 1995. "Departmental productivity in American universities: Economies of scale and scope," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 119-144, June.
  2. Koshal, Rajindar K. & Koshal, Manjulika, 1999. "Economies of scale and scope in higher education: a case of comprehensive universities," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 269-277, April.
  3. Glass, J C & McKillop, Donal G & Hyndman, N, 1995. "Efficiency in the Provision of University Teaching and Research: An Empirical Analysis of UK Universities," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 10(1), pages 61-72, Jan.-Marc.
  4. Barr, Nicholas, 2004. "Economics of the Welfare State," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, edition 4, number 9780199264971, March.
  5. Getz, Malcolm & Siegfried, John J. & Zhang, Hao, 1991. "Estimating economies of scale in higher education," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 203-208, October.
  6. Aigner, Dennis & Lovell, C. A. Knox & Schmidt, Peter, 1977. "Formulation and estimation of stochastic frontier production function models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 21-37, July.
  7. Verry, D W & Layard, P R G, 1975. "Cost Functions for University Teaching and Research," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 85(337), pages 55-74, March.
  8. Nerlove, Marc, 1971. "A Note on Error Components Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 39(2), pages 383-96, March.
  9. David N. Laband & Bernard F. Lentz, 2003. "New Estimates of Economies of Scale and Scope in Higher Education," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 70(1), pages 172-183, July.
  10. David Greenaway & Michelle Haynes, 2003. "Funding Higher Education in The UK: The Role of Fees and Loans," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(485), pages F150-F166, February.
  11. Pamela Lenton, 2006. "Where do I go and what should I do? Routes through further education," Working Papers 2006014, The University of Sheffield, Department of Economics, revised Dec 2006.
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