Report: Raising Productivity in Higher Education Workshop, October 7-11, 2013, Yogyakarta, Indonesia

APO WSP on Higher Education, 2013


A good higher education system is a critical element to the sustained, long-term economic development of a country. The proportion of students who are able to receive higher education and the quality of the services of educational institutions will determine the quality of the future workforce. There is increasing concern, especially in Asia, about the cost of higher education in most countries. Annual increase in tuition, especially among private colleges and universities, has made higher education less accessible. There institutions usually hike tuition fees in the face of rising operational costs. It this trend continues, it will have serious implications on the quality of manpower in the future as more students will drop out. There is thus a need to explore and utilize new modes and techniques to improve the quality of education while reducing operational costs. Productivity improvement is seen as a necessary strategy for increasing efficiency and effectiveness in higher education. Measures to cut costs, as constraints, only address the cost-efficiency dimension of productivity. Sound management practices to improve productivity in higher education must also look at the effectiveness of the organization, be it an academic department or the entire university.

Program objective: To examine existing frameworks and methodologies for measuring productivity in higher education; and to identify and promote suitable measurement methodologies and best practices for improving productivity in higher education.

Duration: The workshop is conducted in five (5) days from October 7 to 11, 2013.


1. To know more about the concept, measuring and improving productivity in higher education.
2. To know the best practices on managing productivity and quality in other countries in Asia.


The participants are composed of government and academic officials involved policy development from Bangladesh, Cambodia, Republic of China (Taiwan), Fiji, IR Iran, Indonesia, Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam.


The topics covered in this workshop include the following:

1. Concept of productivity and its application in higher education;
2. Methodologies for the productivity measurement to education policy formulation;
3. Importance of the productivity measurement to education policy formulation
4. Application of business management concepts in the operations of colleges and universities;
5. Emerging modalities for enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of educational program; and
6. Selected case studies on best practices in improving productivity in higher education

The workshop consisted of resource paper presentations, country case studies, knowledge sharing sessions, and visits to Indonesia Public University and development of an agency for the activities at the national and regional levels to address issues of productivity in higher education.


Lectures were given on the recent efforts of experts to develop methodologies to measure and manage productivity in higher education.

Lectures were also given on Indonesia’s efforts to increase access of higher education to those who are in remote areas and disadvantaged by delivering courses on-line. Presentation of HE systems and exchange of best practices of participating countries were also done. Workshop to develop a framework, identify indicators and strategies to increase productivity and even quality of products in higher education was also conducted. Due to time constraints, the two workshop/break-up groups were not able to consolidate their outputs into a clear and comprehensive framework, strategies and plan to improve productivity and quality of higher education in Asia.

Topics discussed vis-à-vis initiatives of the Philippines on Raising Productivity in Higher Education

i. As whole, the Philippines has started several initiatives on raising productivity in higher education in terms of Accreditation, Application for Program Offerings as specified in the PSGs, COEs/CODs but not as fast as other countries in Asia. Further, there is no monitoring being conducted in higher education that focuses on productivity except for SUCs under the RBPMS/PBIS scheme. Further, there is the Institutional Sustainability Assessment (ISA) program facilitated by CHED that aims to assist the HEIs in establishing their own internal quality assurance system which voluntary in nature.

ii. The monitoring productivity of the agencies including SUCs is in accordance to the Administrative Order number 25 Series of 2011 that established a unified and integrated Results-Based Performance Management System (RBPMS) across all departments and agencies within the Executive Branch incorporating a common set performance scorecard to serve as a single source of information on status of government performance. In this scheme, government agencies including the SUCs are driven to adopt performance indicators that are responsive to the needs of the stakeholders and the strict compliance to good governance. However, the indicators in this scheme are not aligned with the international ranking. In fact, consciousness in international ranking is not of high priority among the education stakeholders in the Philippines. There is a need to examine what direction the Philippines should take in relation to international ranking, specifically the initiatives, programs and projects and data availability.

iii. The Commission is providing data on higher education. However, the data collected are only limited to its current scope such as enrolment, graduates, faculty profile, etc. which are basic. There are existing data that only provides what the Commission covers such as student assistance, research and extension. Further, data on budget (except for SUCs), tuition fees, faculty members subject assignments (e.g. GE, specialization, etc.) are not included in the regular data collection.

iv. The Philippines also incorporated public-private partnership (PPP) but in minimal scope. Example, representatives from private sector are limited to technical panel involvement and most of them are also from academe and not from the industry. There are few projects with the industry like the BPO and Business Analytics initiatives with IBPAP and IBM Philippines, respectively. Unlike in Taiwan, Thailand, Korea and others, industry are heavily involved in higher education in providing facilities, OJTs, research and extension programs.

v. Other countries in Asia (Korea, Malaysia, Indonesia, Taiwan, India, etc.) are fast in adopting and incorporating digital technology in their higher education as mandated by government policies. While the Philippines has recently started the integrated effort in the use of digital technology through the Medium Term ICT Harmonization Initiatives (MITHI) and e-Gov Master Plan for Education, the HEIs still exercise individual approaches in utilization of Digital Technology. Learning commons which include e-Learning and e-Library were seen to be vital in delivering quality education. The Philippines is liberal in providing policies and guidelines on the use of digital technology. On the part of the higher education, according to OPS-DNCHEP, the e-learning application is included in the Distance and Transnational Education PSGs per CMO No. 7 S. 2005 and CMO No. 2 S. 2008, respectively. Other PSGs do not mention explicitly about the e-learning since it is considered as one of the teaching modes.


1. Conduct follow-up meeting/s to identify and promote suitable productivity measurements in higher education

2. Conduct of a domestic (Philippine) training-workshop on increasing productivity in higher education

3. Establish productivity measurement for HEIs complementing with the Performance Based Bonus of the SUCs. The indicators should already reflect the local and international requirements

4. Review data collection and management of the Commission that should support the decision making and international ranking (e.g. GER, etc.)

5. Review program standards and guidelines (PSGs) and policies to adopt good practices as such but not limited to:

i. NSTP to include exposure on industry social involvements (Taiwan Model)
ii. Scholarship data to include other data from HEIs and not only from CHED
iii. Inclusion of digital technology (e.g. learning commons, e-learning, e-library, etc.) in the PSGs
iv. Institutionalization of Quality Assurance and Productivity Monitoring in HEIs which may also complement the improvement of Philippine HEIs in international rankings
v. Strengthen the Research Involvements of HEIs (other countries have millions of researches conducted by HEIs) which maybe affected by the teaching and administrative loads of the faculty members
vi. Review school calendar to adopt the international schedule as this also affects the globalization initiatives of the HEIs


Director III
Commission on Higher Education


Visayas State University


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