About job market outcomes: Assessing the performance of Colombian higher education institutions

Authors: Fabiola Saavedra-Caballero & Sébastien Van Bellegem Journal: Higher Education Quarterly


One method for evaluating higher education performance is to conceptualize it as a production function represented as an input/output process. This paper proposes a performance evaluation of higher education institutions from the perspective of recent graduates taking as inputs students’ cognitive abilities and tuition, and as outputs three we contend are relevant for recent graduates: starting salary, sectoral distinctiveness, and sectoral variety. Using a sample of recent Colombian higher-education graduates, we apply the DEA technique to analyze efficiency at the institutional level in the formal labor market. Our results highlight the importance of focusing on the student as the protagonist of the educational process and contribute to the debate about the selection of relevant inputs and outputs when measuring an institution’s efficiency.

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