Received: 2016-05-19  |  Accepted: 2016-11-27


Performance and sustainability of higher education: key indicators versus academic values


Reforming higher education and science in the world is associated with the widespread introduction of the indicators aimed at promoting their sustainability, productivity, and efficiency. The introduction of new educational technologies and the development of networks in education allow us to speak about the effect of increasing returns and mostly positive feedback. The instability inherent in such processes is an important factor for institutional change. Higher education and the professions associated with it, become large-scaled, which determines the use of indicators in the management plan. Exogenously introduced target indicators of development negatively affect the existing academic freedom and values, as well as hinder their reproduction. This paper attempts to understand the limitations of quantitative indicators and their impact on the adaptive strategies of the actors achieving them. We think that it is necessary to pay more attention to the problems of academic culture and values as important factors in both economic and social performance. It should be considered that education as a specific type of activity and institution is associated with the production of public goods and trust, and performs an important social function. We scrutinize the system of higher education through the prism of applying development target indicators as a tool of public policy. Our results seem to justify the importance of integrating institutions, values and self-governance mechanisms that promote long-term sustainable development.


higher education, sustainability, institutional economics, increasing returns, academic values, regulation

JEL classifications

I21 , I28 , P16





Volchik, Vyacheslav
Southern Federal University
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Maslyukova, Elena
Southern Federal University
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Journal of Security and Sustainability Issues

Issue date



ISSN 2029-7017 (print)
ISSN 2029-7025 (online)


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