The paper explores a suitability of higher education quality measurement from student's point of view, and analyses results of interviewing of students from engineering specialties in Perm universities. Nonlinear Principal Components Analysis (NLPCA) in interpretation of Gifi system was used as the tool for data processing. It takes into account a dissimilar statistical nature of questionnaire indicators. The method can be very promising for various socio-economic researches.
The paper is focused on methodology of modeling state capacity developed within Research Project 47.0 Quantitative and Qualitative Analysis (including QCA) of Factors of Development and Decline of Statemanship of Socialist and Post-Socialist Countries in Europe and Asia at the Second Half of the XX Century and the Beginning of the XXI Century, carried out at the National Research University of Higher School of Economics. We discuss the importance of measuring state capacity in the context of comparative politics and present approaches to the construction of vector indices of state capacity and its typology. We also review contemporary approaches to latent variables measurement and analyze difficulties of their application in small-N research. Then, a combination of principal component and cluster analyses are proposed as an alternative. Finally, we use Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) based on Boolean algebra to reveal factors influencing state capacity in post-communist countries, and discuss preliminary results of the project in progress.