Efficiency in the further education sector in England: a subject level analysis
An earlier study used data envelopment analysis (DEA) to establish that efficiency in further education (FE) colleges varies widely (Bradley, Johnes & Little 2006a). Further statistical analysis suggested that this is explained, to some extent, by student composition and factors relating to the area in which the college is located. This study builds on those results by investigating efficiency levels by subject of study within FE colleges. Mean DEA efficiency is found to vary from 76% to 88% in the worst- and best-performing subject areas, respectively. Further investigation using statistical methods indicates that, while student composition and regional characteristics affect efficiency at the subject level, their effects can vary by area of learning. This has the clear policy implication that strategies to improve efficiency in FE colleges must be devised and operated at subject rather than provider level.
Further Education, Efficiency, Data Envelopment Analysis
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