An Evaluation of NURI(New University for Regional Innovation):Focusing on Changes in Graduate Employment

KDI Journal of Economic Policy. 2008;30(2):157-183 DOI 10.23895/kdijep.2008.30.2.157


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Journal Title: KDI Journal of Economic Policy

ISSN: 2586-2995 (Print); 2586-4130 (Online)

Publisher: Korea Development Institute

Society/Institution: Korea Development Institute

LCC Subject Category: Social Sciences: Industries. Land use. Labor | Social Sciences: Economic theory. Demography

Country of publisher: Korea, Republic of

Language of fulltext: English, Korean

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Lee, Sam-Ho (Associate Research Fellow, Korea Development Institute)
Kim, Hi sam (Associate Research Fellow, Korea Development Institute)


Double blind peer review

Editorial Board

Instructions for authors

Time From Submission to Publication: 12 weeks


Abstract | Full Text

‘New Universities for Regional Innovation(NURI)’ is a financial aid program designed to promote the development of universities as a major component of Regional Innovation System (RIS). In particular, this program emphasizes the role of regional universities to provide the qualified graduates for the regional economy. This paper is to evaluate the effect of NURI, focusing on the change of graduates’ employment. The effect of the program can be evaluated by the quality of graduates’ accumulated human capital, and graduates’ employment performance represents the graduates’ quality evaluated in the labor market. This is also believed to be a good performance indicator of the NURI program. We utilize the graduate employment survey of Korean Educational Development Institute (KEDI), and calculate the graduates’ employment rates of the departments that received the financial support of NURI (treatment group). We also calculate the graduates’ employment rates of the departments that applied for the support of the NURI program but were not selected (comparison group). By using difference-in-differences method, we compare the change of graduates’ employment rates in treatment and comparison groups before and after the program came in effect. Compared with the employment rates in 2004 before the NURI program started, the graduates employment rates improved in both groups in 2005 and 2006. The improvement of the employment rates in the treatment group is larger than that in the comparison group. Moreover, the difference of improvement gets larger in the year 2006 than in 2005, which means those students who were affected more years by the NURI program are more likely to be employed. However, the difference is not statistically significant, and we cannot definetely conclude that NURI showed the desired effect on the quality of the college graduates. We calculate employment rates in two ways; whether to treat going on to graduate education as an employment or not. The result was qualitatively the same in both cases. We also tracked quality of employment by investigating the firm size where the graduates of the treatment group were employed. By utilizing data from the Employment Insurance Fund, we measure the firm size by the number of employees. We did not find any deterioration of employment quality between 2005 and 2006, though it deteriorates in 2007. Therefore, the improvement of employment rates until 2006, though not statistically significant, does not seem to come at the cost of employment quality. The interpretation of this result cannot help being very limited. First, this evaluation covers such a short time period. It only covers two years after the program started, 2005 and 2006. Second, the extent of the improvement in employment rates is not satisfactory considering the amount of financial support, even though it can be argued that the employment has improved since the inception of the program. Subsequent evaluation of the program is required to certify the NURI programs’ longer term effectiveness.