Teaching venues are playing an important role in the filed of open and distance education (ODL). In China's ODL system over 70% enrolled students are from Radio and TV Universities (RTVUs). Many off-campus teaching venues of e-colleges in 67 conventional universities have been established in RTVUs at prefecture and city level. In this article, the authors have done a direct survey on the data of distance education cost over the past consecutive 4 years in 21 RTVUs at prefecture and city level from 3 provinces (Xinjiang, Hunan and Fujian) in China's western, central and eastern areas, and empirically studied the scale effect in teaching venues at prefecture and city level under the hypothesis condition-teaching effect of ODL and conventional education is the same. The study result illustrates that the average student cost of RTVUs at prefecture and city level demonstrates a scale economy feature, that is, with the expansion of enrolled students scale, there is a fall in the average student cost. The study indicates large differences between average student variable cost and average student cost, which shows a possible average cost reduction in RTVUs at prefecture and city level. In terms of geographical and economic differences, some imbalances of development have been found among RTVUs at prefecture and city level. A quadratic form regression model has been established for doing this research in the perspective of education economics. The results of the regression show that the optimal enrolled student number of RTVUs nationwide at prefecture and city level is around 7,800. For provinces, the most optimal enrolled student numbers are as follows: 9,100 for Fujian, 3,800 for Hunan, and 2,200for Xianjiang, which can serve as the reference for expanding scale economy in ODL. The research finding also indicate the changes in student average cost resulting from the changes in scale, the problem of determining investment direction. It is suggested that more input which benefit the quality improvement of distance education should be made.
Ying, L., Xuhong, Z., Ruiqing, L., Haishan, C. and Shaogang, Z. (2009), "THE BALANCE AMONG QUALITY, SCALE AND EFFECTIVENESS AN EMPIRICAL STUDY ON SCALE EFFECT IN TEACHING VENUES AT PREFECTURE AND CITY LEVEL OF RADIO & TV UNIVERSITIES IN CHINA", Asian Association of Open Universities Journal, Vol. 4 No. 1, pp. 1-13. https://doi.org/10.1108/AAOUJ-04-01-2009-B001
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