Elective Course, Higher Education Policy Specialization/Concentration,
Gateway course for MPA student

The course will familiarize students with 1) key concepts of economic theory and 2) econometric approaches that are commonly used by policy makers and researchers to conceptualize and study higher education institutions and the students that attend them.
Through a combination of conceptual and empirical readings, group discussions, and two individual assignments, course participants will explore a range of topic areas relevant to higher education policy, including the economic and non-economic benefits of higher education, theories of cost increase in higher education, the relationship between higher education and economic growth, higher education production functions, theories of organizational behavior in higher education, international student mobility, and the role of higher education in national skills training systems.

In addition to considering theoretical approaches grounded in human capital theory, the course will also familiarize participants with alternative frameworks (signaling theory, higher education stratification) used for explaining the relationship between higher education and individual and societal outcomes.

Through the critical assessment of higher education research from a range of national contexts, course participants will also learn about the strengths and limitations of various econometric techniques, such as multivariate regression, panel data analysis, instrumental variables, stochastic frontier analysis, and randomized control trials.

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to make theoretically grounded and evidence-based arguments in areas of higher education policy such as higher education finance, access and equity policies, and skills training policies.