Technical efficiency heterogeneity of tertiary institutions in Viet Nam: a metafrontier directional technology approach

    Renato A. Villano Affiliation
    ; Carolyn-Dung Thi Thanh Tran Affiliation


The higher education system of Viet Nam has been undergoing reform process with the aim of seeking a position in the world’s education market. However, recent changes in the system have made the operational efficiency of the system less stable, thus making it more challenging to improve the country’s universities world rankings. In this paper, we investigate the performance of tertiary education institutions in Viet Nam and evaluate the efficiency gap between colleges and universities. Using the metafrontier directional technology approach, we estimate both the group frontier and metafrontier efficiencies for 112 universities and 141 colleges using data for 2011–2013 and compute their differences imposed by the technology associated with different levels of ownership and locations. The findings showed that the performance of universities were better than that of colleges, at 0.837 0.774, respectively. However, under an unrestricted metafrontier framework, the metatechnology ratios suggest that universities and colleges were operated comparatively well by potentially increasing their performance by 7.8 and 5.0 per cent, respectively. Both urban universities and colleges are found to be more efficient than their rural counterparts, but the effects of ownerships showed mixed results on the performance of universities and colleges. Our results highlight the need for appropriate policies and enabling environment that will enhance the performance of each institution. It is imperative to re-evaluate the specific role and individual contributions of colleges and universities in the national education system and assist rural universities and colleges to explore their full potential to enhance their performance.

First published online 17 September 2019

Keyword : data envelopment analysis, directional distance, higher education institutions, metafrontier, technological heterogeneity

How to Cite
Villano, R. A., & Tran, C.-D. T. T. (2019). Technical efficiency heterogeneity of tertiary institutions in Viet Nam: a metafrontier directional technology approach. Technological and Economic Development of Economy, 25(6), 1058-1080.
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Sep 17, 2019
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