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Evaluation on Higher Education Using Data Envelopment Analysis

Chin-Yen Alice Liu, Chia-Ching Karen Tsai


The goal of higher education is to provide students an equal opportunity to access their education for success. With significant competition within the peer group, potential students look for quality, flexibility, and affordability in the educational environment. In addition, the relationship between students and the institution involves a concentrated and more specific set of expectations. In order to improve students’ academic performance and fulfill individual needs, universities aim to enhance the quality of students’ learning environment and academic achievements. The higher education system relies on efficient operation and strategic planning to fulfill students’ needs through an internal emphasis on institutional performance improvement. A study on measuring the performance of higher education is presented. The research was focused on four-year and above, public and not-for-profit private universities in the southern region (AL, AR, KY, LA, MS, OK, TN, and TX) of the United States. The data includes 270 universities which were obtained from the Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education. This study applied the Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) approach; the purpose is to use a linear programming model to demonstrate a novel benchmarking process of higher education institutional performance and determine an overall benchmark for institutions within each classified group. From the results, suggestions are provided for the general guidance of planners and decision makers in the higher education system.


Performance evaluation; Data Envelopment Analysis; Institutional benchmarking

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