Operations Research and Management Science in Higher Education: An Overview

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Operations Research (OR) is an interdisciplinary discipline that evolved during WWII to solve complex operational military problems such as scarce resource allocations and logistics. Thereafter, it has been used successfully in the private and public sectors—including in higher education (HE). The purpose of this chapter is to give an overview of the use of OR methodologies in HE and the functional areas in which they are used. First, a search in 40 OR journals reveals that HE and OR methodology appeared in the title of 0.3% of their articles during 1950–2019. Moreover, in 17 OR journals, HE did not appear in any article. Second, looking at the web of science during 2000–2019, we identified 58 main OR methods relevant to HE. Leading these methods (in terms of the number of articles) is simulation. Third, we identified 30 functional areas relevant to HE. Leading these areas is strategy. For specific methods by area, the leading combination is data envelopment analysis by efficiency. In summary, there is great potential for academics in OR to utilize OR models to improve their own HE system, especially during and after crises such as a pandemic.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational Series in Operations Research and Management Science
Number of pages32
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2021

Publication series

NameInternational Series in Operations Research and Management Science
ISSN (Print)0884-8289
ISSN (Electronic)2214-7934


  • Higher education
  • Management science
  • Operations research
  • Overview

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Applied Mathematics


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