Research Group 3


The Economic and Social Relevance of Higher Education (ESRHE) Research Group focuses on the analysis of the dimensions of higher education institutions and systems that are based on their relationship with the environment, namely though their multiple impacts. The activity of this Research Group has developed on the basis of the following research objectives: i) discussion of the relevance of economic analysis to the understanding of current patterns in higher education policies, namely through the assessment of the impacts that market mechanisms have on higher education systems; ii) analysis of the resources allocated to higher education and the effect of different financing agreements on the behaviour of higher education systems and institutions; iii) analysis of resources allocation within the higher education system, namely through the assessment of the performance of their institutions from a production process approach (inputs/outputs/outcomes); and iv) study of the impact that conceptualisation of education and training as a type of investment – that is, a human capital investment – has been shaping the economic discourse on education and economic system, and the relationship with the labour market.

The pursuit of these objectives has led to the development of different research projects, focusing on topics such as the analysis of the role of the private sectors in the massification of higher education systems; the identification of efficiency and equity substantial issues associated with the current funding situation in Portuguese higher education; the study of issues related to efficiency and effectiveness in the Portuguese higher education system, namely the analysis of the factors that may explain the differences identified in the performance of its institutions; the assessment of the effects of the human capital investment program on current perceptions of higher education roles, namely in terms of the transition of graduates to the labour market and also the valuation of knowledge and innovation at the local and regional levels.

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