Financial sustainability of public Higher Education Institutions in Uzbekistan

  • Shukhrat Kholmuminov

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


Since the early years of independence in 1991, a central topic of higher education in Uzbekistan has been how to fill the gap left by the reduced government funding at public Higher Education Institutions (HEIs). The majority of the Uzbek universities, as in many other countries, have responded to the decline in public allocations through charging significantly increased tuition fees. Therefore, the revenue structure of public HEIs has changed from full government funding to mostly tuition funding over the last decade. The main aim of this study is to examine the impact of this shift in the institutional revenue structure on behaviour and efficient resource utilisation of public HEIs in Uzbekistan. For these purposes, this study begins with analysing the contemporary outlook of Uzbek education sector, particularly administrative and financing structures and reforms of the higher education. A comprehensive comparison between the higher education system of Uzbekistan and the rest of the Central Asian Republics (CARs) is also provided in this thesis.To the best of my knowledge, this thesis is the first study which scrutinises the higher education systems of the entire CARs. Utilising resource dependence theory (RDT), this study empirically investigates whether or not increased institutional reliance on tuition fees as a main source of revenue has augmented the share of institutional expenditures dedicated to educational activities at public HEIs in Uzbekistan over the period 2000-2013. Drawing on a 14-year panel of university-level data and employing an instrumental variable approach that acknowledges the potential endogeneity of institutional tuition revenue, the author finds that the institutional expenditures for educational expenses are considerably increased as institutions became more dependent on tuition revenue for their financially sustainable operation. This finding is consistent with the predictions of RDT. Robustness of the empirical findings is also tested utilising several diagnostic models.In this study, a stochastic cost frontier analysis is used in order to examine whether the institutional fiscal resources obtained mostly from tuition have been utilised efficiently or inefficiently at public HEIs in Uzbekistan during the period of 2000 to 2013. The Battese and Coelli (1995) method is applied to measure the influences of institution, staff and student characteristics on cost efficiency of the universities. According to mean efficiency scores that the Uzbek universities are not remarkably cost efficient in producing education and research outputs, although the significant improvements in the efficiency followed throughout the sample period. Interestingly, findings also reveal that public HEIs with a greater share of public funding are less cost efficient relative to those institutions with a smaller share of public funding.
Date of Award16 Dec 2016
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University Of Strathclyde

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