Cost Containment for Higher Education: Strategies for Public Policy and Institutional Administration

By William Brand Simpson | Go to book overview

3
Educational Need as an Upper Bound

In this chapter we narrow our focus to educational programs and identify strategies of educational planning that use need as the single criterion. The strategies differ according to the answers to the following questions: Needed by whom? Needed for what purposes?

In this approach, costs would be contained by the criterion that no more should be spent than is needed. In other words, spend for education as long as there is benefit, without explicit consideration as to the benefits foregone in alternative uses that otherwise could be pursued. This expands on the maxim referred to at the end of Chapter 2. The antidote, taking cost as well as benefits systematically into consideration, is taken up in Chapter 4.

Planning the overall allocation of resources to higher education at the national, regional, or state level varies from considering a single factor, such as the trend of individual demand for education, to taking account of a number of interrelated variables such as gross domestic product or income, rate of economic growth, extent of unemployment of resources, trends in job opportunities of particular types, and so on. Such planning may be found in a context including at least secondary education, and possibly primary education, and may be undertaken in conjunction with provision for vocational training. The planning has both qualitative and quantitative dimensions. The principal approaches utilized in quantitative macroplanning (whether it be in real or monetary terms) will be briefly identified in this chapter.

The predictions or policy decisions arrived at in macro educational

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