A Non-Parametric Efficiency Perspective on the Research-Active European Universities Performance
Higher Education Institutions often struggle to optimally use their available resources in pursuance of both educational and research outputs, while competing for gathering funds. Furthermore, increasing teaching burden for academic workforce may shrink their time dedicated to research, which may also negatively impact the budget. The aim of this paper consists in examining the efficiency of two important dimensions of European universities (teaching and research), together with a possible ranking based on the models we employ for each of these two perspectives. Our target is to also explore any possible compromises between education and scientific research. We employ non-parametric efficiency analysis using FDH (Free Disposal Hull) and Hyperbolic efficiency estimators for a sample of 264 universities for the year 2014, from the RISIS-ETER facility, a database of European Higher Education Institutions and their indicators. Filters are applied to the initial heterogenous dataset in order to obtain adequate efficiency models that analyse universities performance from both research and teaching perspectives. Teaching efficiency is defined by how well the institutions manage to use their government allocation and academic staff in producing the maximum amount of undergraduate degrees, whereas the research efficiency is given by how well the universities perform in maximizing their research outputs considering only the personnel involved in research activities. The results illustrate that many institutions are focusing into a single direction and some efforts need to be undertaken in order to improve the academic balance between teaching and research. An analysis of each sample is provided and gives us an interesting insight into the European universities’ activities.
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