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Beyond the ABC's: higher education and developing countries

Kapur, Devesh; Crowley, Megan

This paper analyzes a relatively neglected facet of the complex debate regarding human capital – higher (or tertiary) education. It addresses five broad questions examining higher education in developing countries. One, are the economic effects of higher education on developing countries different from those in industrialized countries, with its links with labour markets of lesser importance than its impact on institutional development? Two, how does the impact of higher education depend on the type of education and its beneficiaries? Three, with the state unable to meet growing demand pressures, what should be the proper role of the state to ensure not just quality but also equity and access? Four, how should countries rethink the provision of higher education in an “open economy” from seeking education abroad or encouraging foreign providers into the country or simply linking domestic institutions with foreign quality assurance mechanisms? And five, do new technologies offer developing countries a new paradigm to expand the provision of high quality but low cost higher education? The aim is not to provide categorical answers to these complex questions, but rather highlight the analytical and empirical lacuna with regard to each of these questions.

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Document Title: Beyond the ABC's: higher education and developing countries
Institution: Center for Global Development
City and Country: Washington DC, USA.

Document Type:Paper (Peer Reviewed)
Subject Area:National Systems and Comparative Studies
Keywords:Higher Education, Developing countries, Demand for Higher Education, Challenges, Sub Saharan Africa, General Agreement on Trade in Services GATS, Accreditation, Equity, Access, State Intervention

File Size:721 KB
Rights:Permission to use this paper was granted by the authors.
Date Added:12 March 2008

Kapur, Devesh; Crowley, Megan (2008). Beyond the ABC's: higher education and developing countries Working Paper No. 139, Center for Global Development, Washington DC, USA.