University education in developing economies: access, competition, and neglect
AuthorStaub, Donald Francis
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CitationStaub, D. F. (2016). University education in developing economies: access, competition, and neglect. Springer International Publishing, 193-209. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-12403-2_12
There is little disputing the link between education and economic development, whether at the level of the nation or the individual. There is abundant support of this tenet. However, at a global level, there appear to be fewer instances where a strategic effort is made by governments to effectively establish and sustain this linkage. This is particularly the case in developing, or emerging economies where governments may have made a commitment to a fully functioning education system-from pre-school through graduate school-yet a gap remains between design and implementation of the education system and realization of economic growth for individuals and the nation. This chapter discusses two critical factors that impede many developing countries from closing the gap. The first is access to quality higher education. The second is the lack of attention in primary and secondary education systems paid to the noncognitive, social, and emotional development of students so that they emerge from their education as healthy, stable, contributing members to the economy of their nation. Access to higher education in many developing countries has increased dramatically since the 1990s, due in large part to the growth in the number of private higher education institutions. Access does not guarantee that it will be a quality experience. Students may graduate only with large debts from tuition loans, yet with no employment to help pay for them. In addition, data clearly shows that affective and non-cognitive traits, which are teachable, can contribute to greater levels of innovation and economic growth, and fewer emotional and disciplinary issues at school and, further on, in the workplace.