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Public Policy and Administration


Dr. James S. Frampton


Within the international higher education community there is not a system nor gold standard to identify the value of higher education institutions (HEIs). For the current research, the definition of value was determined through quantitative methods considering utility and cost. The research problem underscored the importance of valuing undergraduate education in the United States and China, from a comparative perspective. A credible link was established that provided evidence to preserve the value indicator as an international standard within the HEI community. The study's purpose was to define the value of undergraduate education and create an international standard through a comparative analysis of China and the United States. Conceptual frameworks for the research included Thaler's Transaction Utility Theory (TUT). The key research questions inquired upon differences in value with 4-year public accredited universities in China and the United States, and if relationships existed with previous published variables of value from the same datasets. The nature of the study was quantitatively focused using secondary data. Variables included: employment, earnings, cost, value, alumni, award, cited researchers, papers published, and papers indexed in social science citations. The research systemically included a two-population t-test and multiple regression. Three major findings and analytical results included: (1) validation of an international value standard, (2) differences in HEI value, and (3) positive and significant relationships between United States awards- United States value. The contribution to positive social change includes understanding academic valuation in terms of public policy and administration.

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