Edited by Geraint Johnes and Jill Johnes
Chapter 16: Efficiency Measurement
16 Eﬃciency measurement Jill Johnes 1 Introduction The measurement of how well institutions of education perform has been the subject of increased attention in recent years. Variables purporting to measure various aspects of the performance of schools and universities are published regularly in many countries at both local and national level. Such indicators often take the form of ratios which represent eﬃciency in producing outputs (for example, the ratio of pupils in a given year obtaining a minimum level of achievement to total pupils in the year) or eﬃciency in using resources (for example, cost per student). From this point it is a simple step to produce ‘league tables’ of school and university performance which aim to inform consumer choice and resource allocation. The dangers of using these so-called ‘indicators of performance’ are, by now, well known. First, the institutions of interest (schools or universities, for example) operate under diﬀerent conditions and in diﬀerent environments which are not adequately accounted for by simple ratios. Secondly, institutions of education produce an array of outputs from a range of inputs. A ratio of one output to one input, for example, cannot capture the complete performance of an organization across the breadth of its activities and it is, at best, only a partial indicator. As a consequence, a number of techniques have been developed and applied in the context of education in an eﬀort to measure the true eﬃciency of organizations. Statistical techniques have progressed from...
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