Analysis of regional differences in government funding performance in higher education – A case study of China

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In recent years, although the total funding for higher education by the Chinese government has been increasing year by year, there are still some problems, such as the unreasonable allocation of regional resources and poor funding efficiency. Therefore, it is necessary to evaluate the performance management and analyze government funding in higher education (GFHE). Based on the data envelopment analysis (DEA) model, this paper evaluates the performance of GFHE in 29 provinces in eastern, central, and western areas of China. An empirical analysis is conducted on the influencing factors using the panel Tobit regression model. The results show that from 2008 to 2020, GFHE performance in China is generally high, but offers a “W-shaped” fluctuation rising state. There are significant differences in the performance of different areas, and the scale level of GFHE in the three areas is not wholly consistent with the performance level. In further studies, the performance level of the 29 provinces is divided into three degrees, which are distributed in all three areas. The study also found that the influencing factors of GFHE performance in central, eastern, and western China are also different, and analyzed the positive and negative effects of influencing factors in each area. Finally, the study tests the theoretical hypothesis, and the results are robust.

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    • Figure 1. Average GFHE scale of each area in China by province (100 million yuan/RMB)
    • Figure 2. Change trend of government funding efficiency (funding efficiency refers to DMU efficiency, which is between 0-1) in higher education in China
    • Table 1. Average performance of government funding in higher education of each province from 2008 to 2020
    • Table 2. Types of government funding performance in higher education in China
    • Table 3. Chinese GFHE performance from 2008 to 2020 (comprehensive efficiency)
    • Table 4. The influence factors of GFHE performance in the whole country and the eastern, central, and western areas
    • Conceptualization
      Yanjun Fu, Mykhaylo Heyenko
    • Data curation
      Yanjun Fu, Mykhaylo Heyenko
    • Formal Analysis
      Yanjun Fu, Mykhaylo Heyenko
    • Investigation
      Yanjun Fu
    • Methodology
      Yanjun Fu
    • Resources
      Yanjun Fu
    • Validation
      Yanjun Fu
    • Writing – original draft
      Yanjun Fu
    • Writing – review & editing
      Yanjun Fu
    • Project administration
      Mykhaylo Heyenko
    • Supervision
      Mykhaylo Heyenko