June 23, 2014
A Study of Research Methodology Used in Evaluations of International Scholarship Schemes For Higher Education
Author: Matt Mawer
Publisher: Commonwealth Scholarship Commission in the UK
Funder: Commonwealth Scholarships
This scoping study was undertaken by the CSC in an attempt to identify the main trends and ambiguities in evaluation approaches and to analyse where different, or more detailed, methodology might lead to more robust evaluation. Four aspects of the available documentation were analysed: methodology, methods, variables, and data analysis. Three thematic issues – counterfactuals, value for money, and aid harmonisation – were also considered. In addition to descriptive findings, the scoping study offers more speculative conclusions regarding the ambiguities in the sector that might be addressed in order to strengthen evaluation methodology. Although some reference is made to research literature on evaluation methodology, this study has been designed to address current – not 'best' – practice. The results of the scoping study are thus intended to offer both an insight into the general trends in evaluation methodology within the sector and provide an opportunity for dialogue and cooperation going forward.