|Educational Cost-benefit Analysis - Education Research Paper No. 02 (DFID, 1993, 27 p.)|
PROJECT TITLE: EDUCATIONAL COST-BENEFIT ANALYSIS
The use of conventional economic cost-benefit analysis in an educational context is being increasingly questioned as a reliable guide to optimal resource allocation. There is doubt as to whether conventional means of determining the private and social costs and benefits of education are sufficiently reliable or comprehensive. If a means of determining costs and benefits of elements of education provision could be constructed that were more consistent with educational philosophy yet capable of being simply and rapidly determined, then cost-benefit analysis could serve as a more useful tool in educational planning and evaluation.
The purpose of the study is to:
1. identify current procedures for identifying educational costs and benefits;
2. provide a critique of those procedures from a comprehensive educational viewpoint that includes, but is not restricted to, manpower planning and social demand;
3. make proposals, to the extent that this is possible, for refining these procedures to become more valid from an educational viewpoint.
This would involve a literature survey on the construction, use and criticism of cost-benefit analysis in education (and, where relevant, other economic sectors); a survey of comparative education literature and other relevant literature sufficient to clarify (a) principal expressions of educational goals and objectives, (b) key internal and external elements of the educational process, and (c) key internal and external factors and variables determining the achievement or otherwise of these goals; reasoned refinement or reconstruction of conventional cost-benefit procedures in the light of these surveys; demonstration of the advantages and limitation of the new procedures through case studies.