Are the New British Universities Congested?
This paper uses data envelopment analysis (DEA) to examine the issue of congestion in British universities. The focus of the paper is on 41 former polytechnics that became universities in 1992, and the analysis covers the period 1995/6 to 2003/4. These new universities differ from the older universities in many ways, especially in terms of their far higher student : staff ratios and substantially lower research funding per member of staff. The primary aim of the paper is to examine whether this under-resourcing of the new universities has led to ‘congestion’, in the sense that their output has been reduced as a result of having too many students. Three alternative methods of measuring congestion are examined and, to check the sensitivity of the results to different specifications, three alternative DEA models are formulated. The results reveal that a substantial amount of congestion was present throughout the period under review, and in a wide range of universities, but whether it rose or fell is uncertain, as this depends on which congestion model is used. The results indicate that an overabundance of undergraduate students was the largest single cause of congestion in the former polytechnics during the period under review. Less plausibly, the results also suggest that academic overstaffing was a major cause of congestion! By contrast, postgraduates and ‘other expenditure’ are found to play a noticeably smaller role in generating congestion.
|Date of creation:||Sep 2006|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: 0117 328 3610|
Phone: 0117 328 3610
Web page: http://www1.uwe.ac.uk/bl/research/bristoleconomics.aspx
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Cooper, W. W. & Gu, Bisheng & Li, Shanling, 2001. "Comparisons and evaluations of alternative approaches to the treatment of congestion in DEA," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 132(1), pages 62-74, July.
- Philip Andrew Stevens, 2005. "A Stochastic Frontier Analysis of English and Welsh Universities," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(4), pages 355-374.
- Tony Flegg & David O. Allen, 2006. "An Examination of Alternative Approaches to Measuring Congestion in British Universities," Working Papers 0606, Department of Accounting, Economics and Finance, Bristol Business School, University of the West of England, Bristol.
- Fare, Rolf, et al, 1989. "Multilateral Productivity Comparisons When Some Outputs Are Undesirable: A Nonparametric Approach," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 71(1), pages 90-98, February.
- A. T. Flegg & D. O. Allen & K. Field & T. W. Thurlow, 2004. "Measuring the efficiency of British universities: a multi-period data envelopment analysis," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(3), pages 231-249.
- Cooper, William W. & Seiford, Lawrence M. & Zhu, Joe, 2000. "A unified additive model approach for evaluating inefficiency and congestion with associated measures in DEA," Socio-Economic Planning Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 1-25, March.
- Izadi, Hooshang & Johnes, Geraint & Oskrochi, Reza & Crouchley, Robert, 2002. "Stochastic frontier estimation of a CES cost function: the case of higher education in Britain," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 63-71, February.
- Fare, Rolf & Grosskopf, Shawna, 2000. "Slacks and congestion: a comment," Socio-Economic Planning Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 27-33, March.
- Johnes, Jill, 2006. "Data envelopment analysis and its application to the measurement of efficiency in higher education," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 273-288, June.
- Cherchye, Laurens & Kuosmanen, Timo & Post, Thierry, 2001. "Alternative treatments of congestion in DEA: A rejoinder to Cooper, Gu, and Li," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 132(1), pages 75-80, July.
- Tone, Kaoru, 2001. "A slacks-based measure of efficiency in data envelopment analysis," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 130(3), pages 498-509, May.
- Rolf Färe & Shawna Grosskopf, 2000. "Research Note. Decomposing Technical Efficiency with Care," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 46(1), pages 167-168, January.
- P. Byrnes & R. Färe & S. Grosskopf, 1984. "Measuring Productive Efficiency: An Application to Illinois Strip Mines," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 30(6), pages 671-681, June.
- Cooper, W. W. & Gu, Bisheng & Li, Shanling, 2001. "Note: Alternative treatments of congestion in DEA - a response to the Cherchye, Kuosmanen and Post critique," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 132(1), pages 81-87, July.
- Johnes, Geraint, 1997. "Costs and Industrial Structure in Contemporary British Higher Education," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(442), pages 727-37, May.
- Tone, Kaoru & Sahoo, Biresh K., 2004. "Degree of scale economies and congestion: A unified DEA approach," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 158(3), pages 755-772, November.
- Fare, R. & Grosskopf, S. & Logan, J., 1985. "The relative performance of publicly-owned and privately-owned electric utilities," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 89-106, February.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:uwe:wpaper:0610. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Felix Ritchie)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.