R&D Expenditures by Higher Education Sector and Analysis of Performance Indicators

Laura Vitola, Jana Eriņa



Purpose. The purpose of this paper is to analyse relation of R&D Performance indicators with R&D Expenditures made by the Higher Education (HE) sector and to identify other types of determinants of performance indicators in Latvia and Baltic States

Methodology. Latvia and Baltic States should increase research and development (R&D) expenditures in order to both promote competitiveness and to achieve a goal set forth in the European Commission`s strategy Europe 2020 (3% from gross domestic product (GDP) should be invested in R&D). Therefore, in circumstances of limited funding it is very important to analyze not only amount of funding, but also a relation between the amount funding and changes in performance indicators.

In order to achieve the purpose of this paper, the authors: (i) identified performance indicators, connected to the HE sector, and analyzed relation between R&D expenditures by the HE sector and performance indicators; (ii) clarified which performance indicators should be additionally promoted by different activities and identify other types of determinants of performance indicators; (iii) compared HE performance indicators and their relation to R&D expenditures in the Baltic States.

In this paper authors applied comparative research method and qualitative data analysis, in which analysis of statistical data, literature, scientific articles, reviews and policy planning documents, was carried out.

Results. As a result of research the authors concluded that several performance indicators relate to the expenditure level in the HE sectors, however certain indicators (e.g. patent applications, high-tech export) do not relate to expenditures or relate to other sectors. Furthermore, the authors concluded that policy of funding in specific sectors should be focused more towards performance indicators, especially towards those goals, that are connected with weakly relating or non-relating performance indicators. In research the authors identified additional factors that influence R&D performance indicators – necessity to develop institutional framework and infrastructure. Analysis of relation between expenditures in the HE sector and performance indicators in the Baltic States showed different results (e.g. there is a relation in performance indicators “number of PhD students” and “R&D personnel” in all countries, however there is a different relation to other performance indicators, e.g., “high-tech export” and “amount of patent applications”).

The theoretical contribution. The research showed how effectively R&D funding is used in the HE sector in Latvia and the Baltic States, while identifying additional factors that influence performance indicators, which will allow to adopt more focused decisions for funding policy planning in the future.

Keywords: R&D Expenditures, R&D Performance indicators, higher education sector.

Paper type: Theoretical paper.


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