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Working paper

The Efficiency of Russian Higher Education Institutions and its Determinants

  In Russia, resources available for higher education institutions (HEIs) have been reduced while the expectations of their results have grown. This raises questions about the efficiency of Russian HEIs and the factors influencing it. In this paper, estimations of the efficiency of Russian HEIs for the 2012/13-2014/15 academic years and its determinants are presented. Ratios of weighted outputs and weighted inputs constructed with data envelopment analysis (DEA) are used as the HEIs efficiency measure. Total financial resources of HEIs are used as the input and measures of education and research results are used as the outputs. For the analysis of changes in efficiency the Malmquist index is used. The relation between efficiency scores and the characteristics of HEIs are investigated using a Tobit regression. This research is based on data about 120 public HEIs collected from various sources. The results show that the potential for an increase in the efficiency still remains. An outward shift of the efficiency frontier, i.e. a technological improvement, was found. According to estimations, most institutions operate at decreasing returns to scale and reducing their size will increase their efficiency. However, the substantial growth of the number of HEIs with increasing returns to scale implies that the policy of resource consolidation could be a reasonable response to current challenges. A positive relationship between HEIs efficiency and the diversification of fields of study was revealed.