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Student time allocation, the learning environment and the acquisition of competencies

  • Meng,Christoph
  • Heijke,Hans

    (ROA rm)

This paper investigates the significance of the higher education learning environment and the student’s time allocation over study related activities for the acquisition of generic and discipline-specific competencies. We discern four learning environments according to the emphasis placed on activating learning methods and the emphasis placed on the teacher as main source of information. Time used is measured for attention of formal education, self-study, extra-curricula activities and paid work. Using a unique data set on European higher education graduates, providing detailed information, we investigate the competencies acquisitions process by stochastic frontier production function methods. The results suggest that activating learning methods are effective in both, the acquisition of generic competencies and the acquisition of discipline-specific competencies. Moreover, the results show that discipline-specific competencies are acquired by attending formal education, by self-study and by paid work, as long as there is a strong link between the work and the study. Generic competencies are acquired by self-study and paid work that is related to the study.

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Paper provided by Maastricht University, Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA) in its series ROA Research Memorandum with number 001.

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Date of creation: 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:unm:umaror:2005001
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  1. Eric A. Hanushek, 2003. "The Failure of Input-Based Schooling Policies," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(485), pages F64-F98, February.
  2. Rosen, Sherwin, 1983. "Specialization and Human Capital," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 1(1), pages 43-49, January.
  3. Meeusen, Wim & van den Broeck, Julien, 1977. "Efficiency Estimation from Cobb-Douglas Production Functions with Composed Error," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 18(2), pages 435-44, June.
  4. Durden, Garey C & Ellis, Larry V, 1995. "The Effects of Attendance on Student Learning in Principles of Economics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(2), pages 343-46, May.
  5. Casey B. Mulligan & Barbara Schneider & Rurtin Wolfe, 2000. "Time Use and Population Representation in the Sloan Study of Adolescents," NBER Technical Working Papers 0265, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Heijke, Hans & Meng, Christoph & Ris, Catherine, 2003. "Fitting to the job: the role of generic and vocational competencies in adjustment and performance," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 215-229, April.
  7. Heijke,Hans & Meng,Christoph & Ramaekers,Ger, 2003. "An investigation into the role of human capital competences and their pay-off," ROA Research Memorandum 001, Maastricht University, Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA).
  8. Stephen Devadoss & John Foltz, 1996. "Evaluation of Factors Influencing Student Class Attendance and Performance," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 78(3), pages 499-507.
  9. Dolton, Peter & Marcenaro, Oscar D. & Navarro, Lucia, 2003. "The effective use of student time: a stochastic frontier production function case study," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 22(6), pages 547-560, December.
  10. David Romer, 1993. "Do Students Go to Class? Should They?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 7(3), pages 167-174, Summer.
  11. Hans Heijke & Christoph Meng, 2011. "The effects of higher education programme characteristics on the allocation and performance of the graduates," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 19(1), pages 1-27.
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