PERFORMANCE-BASED FUNDING MODELS FOR TERTIARY EDUCATION IN SMALL ISLAND DEVELOPING STATES: THE CASE OF MAURITIUS

S. Kaullychurn

Victoria University of Wellington (NEW ZEALAND)
Improving performance of the public sector has been an ongoing objective of many governments. From the early 1980s, the goal has shifted in many OECD countries from accounting for expenditures to accounting for results. Performance-based funding emerged as a budgetary method for complementing or replacing other funding mechanisms so as to promote quality, enhance efficiency and increase accountability. Rewarding quality in tertiary education will be essential for achieving a country’s goals for economic and social development. Given the high priority of tertiary education at the international level, empirical studies to date have been largely confined to developed countries. Accordingly, there is a lack of literature on performance-based funding models with regard to tertiary education in small island developing states (SIDS). This paper reviews the literature on performance-based funding models for tertiary education adopted by various jurisdictions (e.g. United Kingdom, New Zealand, Denmark and Sweden). A qualitative approach was employed to explore the opportunities and challenges of PBF models for tertiary education in SIDS, with particular reference to Mauritius. Semi-structured interviews were undertaken with political elites and representatives of the tertiary education sector. The paper then presents the findings from a PhD. research work-in-progress and assesses the implications for the use of performance-based funding models in SIDS.