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HSE and Politecnico di Milano to Join Forces in Studying University Performance and Efficiency

A Cooperation Agreement has recently been signed between HSE and Politecnico di Milano (Department of Management, Economics and Industrial Engineering) to jointly embark on a large-scale study titled, Efficiency, Performance and Impact of Higher Education Institutions (EPI). In accordance with the agreement, the IOE Laboratory for University Development will act as the principal R&D venue for this initiative, while Dr. Tommaso Agasisti, Associate Professor at Politecnico di Milano and one of Europe's most renowned experts in education economics, will take up overall project supervision.      

“Topics of university performance and efficiency have been increasingly emphasized in recent policy and public discourse across the globe. This reflects more heightened expectations by various stakeholders about payoffs that university systems should yield to multiple socio-economic domains, including in single industries, within and beyond their host communities, specifically given the vast financial resources that are being ploughed into the realm of higher education,” Tommaso Agasisti explains. “The EPI project agenda involves a huge array of questions to address in seeking out deeper insights into which factors and mechanisms determine how universities can effectively perform and contribute to socio-economic environments. The study is going to explore, among other things, the efficiency of current and prospective investments in higher education, how internal factors, such as managerial practices, as well as external features of the environment are implicated in university performance, and so on.”  

With its inception harking back to a series of joint papers by research teams at IOE and Politecnico di Milano, the EPI project did not take long to grow into a high-scope and far-reaching R&D endeavor. The parties believe EPI is well placed to spark a momentum for a more meaningful international discussion of the topics in question, aimed at attracting more educational scholars from other countries.    

The main areas that IOE has focused on so far within the said R&D domain include, among others, assessing multi-level impacts from academic excellence initiatives, analyzing implications of performance-based funding model for university strategy and performance, evaluating university contribution to socio-economic development of Russian regions, etc. EPI encourages active participation by early-career scholars, enabling them to seek out firsthand advice and build collaborations with accomplished academics in the realm of higher education.