AN ECONOMIC ANALYSIS OF A LATIN AMERICAN UNIVERSITY: THE INTERNATIONAL APPLICATION OF UNITED STATES COSTING TECHNIQUES (MEXICO).
AuthorAhumada, Martín Miguel
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThe purpose of this study was to conduct an in-depth examination of factors associated with instructional cost variations among the academic units of a private, Mexican university, the Universidad de Monterrey (UDEM). The study also sought to understand the differences between this university's income and expenditure patterns and those of most comparable institutions in the United States. The analysis enabled the University to identify where it may be more efficient and, in what may turn out to be of most significance, provided it with a higher level of institutional self-awareness. The framework for this study utilized the concepts of the production function and cost theory, both borrowed from microeconomics. Three measures of instructional costs (cost per student-credit-hour, cost per full-time-student-equivalent, and cost per course) were regressed on a series of independent variables that were hypothesized to influence instructional costs. The study utilized the data classification and coding procedures developed by the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO) and the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems (NCHEMS). Differences in unit instructional costs among UDEM's academic units were largely due to differences in student-faculty ratios, average class sizes, and total number of courses taught (direct costs), and average salaries for clerical and administrative staff (indirect costs). These findings imply that UDEM may increase efficiency through curricular retrenchment and by increasing faculty productivity levels. The University's enrollment (2,300 at the university level) is very small for its broad liberal arts, professional and graduate curriculum. In comparing UDEM's income and expenditure patterns to those of most comparable U.S. institutions, it was found that UDEM depended more heavily on tuition and fees for income and, as such, either had not pursued or not been successful in obtaining other revenue. Yet, the University was able to devote a larger share of its revenue to instruction than were comparable U.S. institutions. In addition, UDEM provided relatively more support to its academic support function while rendering few resources for scholarships and fellowships. These results suggest that UDEM might benefit greatly from a well-designed fund-raising effort and that a student aid program targeted on low income students could yield additional income while expanding student opportunity and building public relations.
Degree ProgramHigher Education