Exploring efficiency differentials between Saudi higher education institutions

Wael Mousa, Yaseen Ghulam

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    There have been considerable public debates surrounding the efficiency of Saudi higher education institutions, specifically after Vision 2030. We explore the efficiency of institutions of higher learning in Saudi Arabia. Panel data from 61 higher education institutions is employed for the academic years 2008-14 to estimate efficiency scores. Also, second stage regression analysis was employed to identify the main determinants of efficiency scores. We conclude that despite exponential growth in government funding for the higher education sector, technical efficiencies remained almost stagnant over the study period along with a persistence of inefficiencies. Second stage regression results confirm that institution ownership itself does not have a significant effect on efficiency scores. However, being a university and acquiring more than 20 years of experience have a positive impact on efficiency scores. An increase in both lower secondary completion rates and percentage of female students in secondary general education increases efficiencies while higher employment to population ratio and increasing female academic staff ratio in tertiary education reduces institutional efficiencies.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalManagerial & Decision Economics
    Early online date4 Jan 2019
    Publication statusEarly online - 4 Jan 2019


    • Efficiency analyses
    • Universities
    • Data envelopment analysis
    • Higher education
    • Saudi Arabia


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