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Research capacity of the higher education sector in developing countries

Sanyal, Bikas C; Varghese, N.V.


The present phase of development is characterized by knowledge-based production. The knowledge economy places greater value and stronger emphasis on the production and distribution of knowledge – R&D. Knowledge production used to be an activity coordinated by the public authorities and public universities played an important role in R&D activities. At present, knowledge production in many developed countries is critical for industrial production and has become an important corporate concern.

Based on the available sources of information, this paper argues that the knowledge divide is deep and is heavily tilted in favor of developed countries. Developing countries suffer from a lack of both financial and human resources in R&D. They need to improve their capacity to produce knowledge domestically and absorb the knowledge produced elsewhere. This can happen when allocation of financial resources to R&D activities increases, human resources are trained in adequate numbers and an institutional framework to carry out R&D activities is created.

While universities play a less significant role in funding and carrying out research, their role remains unchallenged in the area of research training. Changes in the investment priorities in education during the structural adjustment regime paved the way for a decline of higher education and research in public institutions of higher education in developing countries. There is a need for reviving and strengthening the university system in developing countries to strengthen their research capacities. This change should be reflected in resource allocation to higher education and research, and in the provision of opportunities to expand graduate programmes and improve female participation rates. The experience of developed countries shows that the private sector investment in R&D increases when the research environment and facilities improve in the country. Therefore, the initial investments to strengthen research capacity in developing countries have to come from public sources.

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Title of Paper: Research capacity of the higher education sector in developing countries
Conference Name: Second International Colloquium on Research and Higher Education Policy
Conference Date: 2006-11-29
Conference Location: Paris, France
Published as Proceedings: no

Document Type:Conference Paper (Peer Reviewed)
Subject Area:Research
Keywords:Research Capacity, Higher Education, Developing countries, Research and Development R&D, Knowledge economy

File Size:164 KB
Rights:Permission to reproduce this paper was granted by the authors.
Date Added:11 April 2007

Sanyal, Bikas C; Varghese, N.V. (2006). Research capacity of the higher education sector in developing countries, Presented at the Second International Colloquium on Research and Higher Education Policy, International Institute for Educational Planning, Paris, 2006