Potential Benefits from University Mergers – An Attempt to Evaluate Future Efficiency Levels with a Selected DEA Model
Purpose: The specificity of defining and describing the efficiency of higher education institutions and the related difficulties arise from the fact that the purpose of such an educational institution is perceived in various ways. Over the last years, there have been several significant reforms of higher education, including vocational education, which have led to a revision of the way in which universities are perceived. What remains unchanged is that the primary task of public vocational universities is to educate specialists for various fields of economy. The effective implementation of this very important function and many others makes it necessary to constantly reflect on the functioning of universities. In terms of the efficiency of these units, analytical, research, comparative, and other activities may lead to valuable conclusions, which in the long run have a chance to improve the position of public vocational universities in the competitive market of educational services. Design/Methodology/Approach: The aim of this article is to present a simulation of a merger of a state higher vocational school on the example of ABNS in Biała Podlaska with three selected schools from the public vocational school sector and three selected academic universities from Poland. The simulation was based on the research material and conclusions from the research project entitled. "Forecasting changes in the efficiency of selected PWSZs as a result of university consolidation in the context of the ranking of PWSZs in Poland", which was conducted in 2020 – 2021. Findings: The results of the simulation made it possible to evaluate the efficiency of the university in Biala Podlaska after merging with selected higher education institutions. This provided basis for inferring benefits in the area of efficiency for ABNS in Biala Podlaska, in the context of the analysed potential strategic alliances with selected educational units. Practical implications: This made it possible to verify the following hypothesis: A greater benefit in terms of increased operational efficiency will be achieved by ABNS in Biala Podlaska if it merges with an entity from the public vocational university sector than from the academic university sector. Originality/Value: The analyses conducted illustrate the potential of a new approach to the higher education system.