Essays in higher education : internationalization, competition, funding mechanisms


Institution: Università degli studi di Bergamo
Year: 2015
Keywords: ING-IND/35 - Ingegneria Economico-Gestionale
Record ID: 1225691
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/10446/31952


The current research explores three specific dynamics in the in higher education sector. The first paper provides a conceptual and empirical account of the role of the firms’ affiliation with universities in the international market for assets. It investigates whether the prestige and the internationalization of a university affect the propensity of affiliated spin-offs to be targeted in cross-border M&As. This is because the affiliation with a prestigious university is expected to increase the technological capabilities and network opportunities of affiliated firms. Using a sample of 220 biotech firms that went public in Europe over the period 1995-2006, we find that firms affiliated with more prestigious and internationalized universities are more prone to be targeted in cross-border M&As. The second paper investigates whether universities compete for students and how this rivalry has evolved in response to changing enrolment demand. The analysis relies on a competing destinations model for the population of 75 Italian universities in the period 2002-2012.First, findings suggest that there is competition for students among Italian universities. Second, results document that the characteristics of the competition forces changed after the recent financial crisis, with universities located in close proximity to others (i.e., belonging to agglomerated “clusters”) becoming more attractive to students. The last work focuses on doctoral grants’ effects on research performance both during the degree and throughout researchers’ careers as measured through publications and citations. This analysis draws from a representative sample of researchers holding a doctorate based in Portugal and finds that those funded by grants during the PhD perform better than do self-funded ones and that different PhD funding sources produce different outcomes. Results show that PhD funding schemes that privilege long-term PhD funding stability (i.e. PhD grants) positively affect research performance during the PhD and throughout the career.