Assessing the performance of UK universities in the field of chemical engineering using data envelopment analysis

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Title: Assessing the performance of UK universities in the field of chemical engineering using data envelopment analysis
Authors: González-Garay, A
Pozo, C
Galán-Martín, Á
Brechtelsbauer, C
Chachuat, B
Chadha, D
Hale, C
Hellgardt, K
Kogelbauer, A
Matar, OK
McDowell, N
Shah, N
Guillén-Gosálbez, G
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: University rankings have become an important tool to compare academic institutions within and across countries. Yet, they rely on aggregated scores based on subjective weights which render them sensitive to experts’ preferences and not fully transparent to final users. To overcome this limitation, we apply Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) to evaluate UK universities in the field of chemical engineering as a case study, using data retrieved from two national rankings. DEA is a non-parametric approach developed for the multi-criteria assessment of entities that avoids the use of subjective weightings and aggregated scores; this is accomplished by calculating an efficiency index, on the basis of which universities can be classified as either ‘efficient’ or ‘inefficient’. Our analysis shows that the Higher Education Institutions (HEI) occupying the highest positions in the chemical engineering rankings might not be the most efficient ones, and vice versa, which highlights the need to complement the use of rankings with other analytical tools. Overall, DEA provides further insight into the assessment of HEIs, allowing institutions to better understand their weaknesses and strengths, while pinpointing sources of inefficiencies where improvement efforts must be directed.
Issue Date: 1-Oct-2019
Date of Acceptance: 28-Jun-2019
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10044/1/72135
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ece.2019.06.003
ISSN: 1749-7728
Publisher: Elsevier
Start Page: 29
End Page: 41
Journal / Book Title: Education for Chemical Engineers
Volume: 29
Copyright Statement: © 2019 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. This manuscript is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Licence http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/.
Keywords: 09 Engineering
13 Education
Publication Status: Published
Embargo Date: 2020-07-05
Online Publication Date: 2019-07-05
Appears in Collections:Centre for Environmental Policy
Chemical Engineering
Faculty of Natural Sciences



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