Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to review the literature which focuses on four major higher education decision problems. These are: resource allocation; performance measurement; budgeting; and scheduling. Design/methodology/approach: Related articles appearing in the international journals from 1996 to 2005 are gathered and analyzed so that the following three questions can be answered: "What kind of decision problems were paid most attention to?"; "Were the multiple criteria decision-making techniques prevalently adopted?"; and "What are the inadequacies of these approaches?" Findings: Based on the inadequacies, some improvements and possible future work are recommended, and a comprehensive resource allocation model is developed taking account of these factors. Finally, a new knowledge-based goal programming technique which integrates some operations of analytic hierarchy process is proposed to tackle the model intelligently. Originality/value: Higher education has faced the problem of budget cuts or constrained budgets for the past 30 years. Managing the process of the higher education system is, therefore, a crucial and urgent task for the decision makers of universities in order to improve their performance or competitiveness. © Emerald Group Publishing Limited.
- decision making
- higher education
- performance measurement (quality)
- resource allocation