Efficiency in the Public University: Towards an Adequate Measuring of Research Laboratories

Efficiency in the Public University: Towards an Adequate Measuring of Research Laboratories

Driss El Kadiri Boutchich (Higher School of Technology, Mohammed I University, Oujda, Morocco)
DOI: 10.4018/IJAMSE.2020010105
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Usual efficiency evaluation methods, such as Data Envelopment Analysis and Stochastic Frontier Estimation tend to calculate efficiency scores which are valid only at a given moment and for the units where in the sample. At most, Malmquist index determines efficiency scores for period t+1. Those drawbacks can be avoided by translating efficiency scores in terms of probabilities trough the Discriminant Analysis which enables also, to provide appropriate weightings activities of research laboratories, object of this study. In addition to Discriminant Analysis, Hierarchical Cluster Analysis is used to classify those activities into homogeneous groups, while Data Envelopment Analysis is employed to categorize laboratories in efficient and inefficient structures. This method is applied on a public university in east of Morocco. This study shows that indexed publications as well as the supported doctoral thesis or in state of supervision have the greatest impact on efficiency of the research laboratories.
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1. Introduction

JEL Classifications: A2; C11; C38; C67; I23

Efficiency measurement is an innermost concern of all companies and organizations as it summarizes the achievement of their objectives as well as the efforts already provided and those to be made in the future.

The public education sector has not escaped this fact. On the contrary, the efficiency measurement becomes essential in this sector especially with the new public management, and the concern to proceed toward a cost-effective public education.

The present work studies efficiency in a higher education field, especially in the research laboratories of the public university in order to account for their scientific landscape and to improve their outcomes trough making appropriate budgetary and research policy within the public university in Morocco.

However, measuring efficiency in the public sector is not an easy task, notably in the field of education. Indeed, most Member States of the European Institute of Public Administration admit that it is difficult to measure efficiency in the education sector. That’s why for them, only one measure is not enough because of the lack of information and transparency (European Institute of Public Administration, 2007). In addition, the objectives of public action, particularly in education are complex, multidimensional and sometimes unclear (Bureau, Mougeot and Studer, 2010).

In education, several techniques have been tested to evaluate efficiency such as the educational cost function (Verry and Layard, 1975) and the educational production function (King and MacPhail-Wicox, 1994). Currently with the new public management, several instruments applied in the private sector are equally implemented in the educational sector, namely the dashboards. Regression technique is not able to process several outputs simultaneously. As for the dashboards, they give a fragmentary view of the university efficiency which is multidimensional and multidisciplinary in principle.

As a matter of fact, the problem of complexity and multidimensionality is more acute in public higher education, especially in research laboratories, given their multivariate activities and limited resources. Therefore, it is necessary to set up a multidimensional and appropriate approach to measure their efficiency. For this, Discriminant Analysis is chosen, since, in addition to assess their efficiency in terms of probability, it allows appropriate weightings to their activities, and enables to measure the efficiency of the ones which are not part of the sample. So, it avoids the inconvenient of efficiency evaluation methods that are punctual or treat only the cases of units contained in the sample at a given moment ..

To scientifically determine the modalities of its dependent variable, Data Envelopment Analysis whose scores are between 0 (inefficient) and 1 (efficient) is employed. To avoid superficially several scores of 1, the data should be aggregated; hence the use of Hierarchical Cluster Analysis is justified.

To apply the proposed approach in a public university situated in the east of Morocco (Mohammed I University), the data to be collected concerns nine activities which which revolve around the scientific production, the attractiveness of academic offer and interaction with the social, economic and cultural environment. In order to collect the data, forms are envisaged to be completed by main laboratories of the university in question.

At the level of its presentation, this work includes four parts, in addition to the introduction:: efficiency concept, investigation methodology, then, the results with their interpretations and finally the discussion as well as the conclusion.


2. Efficiency Concept

First, the literature review on the efficiency concept is presented. Next, the application of efficiency in education area is approached.

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