Will Asia Surpass Western Universities In Higher Education?

By the end of this decade, four out of every 10 of the world’s young graduates are going to come from just two countries – China and India. The projection from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) shows a far-reaching shift in the balance of graduate numbers, with the rising Asian economies accelerating ahead of the United States and western Europe.

The forecasts for the shape of the “global talent pool” in 2020 show China as rapidly expanding its graduate numbers – set to account for 29% of the world’s graduates aged between 25 and 34. The biggest faller is going to be the United States – down to 11% – and for the first time pushed into third place, behind India.

Their rise in graduate numbers reflects their changing ambitions – wanting to compete against advanced economies for high-skill, high-income employment. Instead of offering low-cost manufacture, they are targeting the hi-tech professional jobs that have become the preserve of the Westernised middle classes.

This push for more graduates has a clear economic purpose, says the OECD’s analysis. Shifting from “mass production to knowledge economy occupations” means improved employment rates and earnings – so there are “strong incentives” for countries to expand higher education. But will there be enough graduate jobs to go round?

The OECD has tried to analyse this by looking at one aspect of the jobs market – science and technology-related occupations. These jobs have grown rapidly – and the report suggests it is an example of how expanding higher education can generate new types of employment. These science and technology jobs – for professionals and technicians – account for about four in every 10 jobs in some Scandinavian and northern European countries, the OECD suggests. The OECD concludes that there are substantial economic benefits from investing in higher education – creating new jobs for the better-educated as unskilled manufacturing jobs disappear.

How important for you is higher education? Do you think Asian countries will indeed surpass the West in terms of higher education?

Source: BBC News

Image: Business Insider

Why the U.S. Economy is Down

Why the U.S. Economy is Down

What would make the U.S. economy grow? What has stopped it from growing much over the last few years – indeed over much of the last decade? One theory heard a lot these days is that the economy is burdened by excessive government regulation, interference and taxes.

Only five years ago, American infrastructure used to be ranked in the top 10 by the World Economic Forum. Now we’re 24th. U.S. air infrastructure has gone from 12th in the world to 31st – roads from eighth to 20th.

The drop in human capital is even greater than the drop in physical capital. The United States used to have the world’s largest percentage of college graduates. We’re now number 14, according to the most recent OECD data. The situation in science education is more drastic. Even with the increase in college attendance over the past two decades, there were fewer engineering and engineering technologies graduates.

In other words, the big shift in the United States over the past two decades is not a rise in regulations and taxation but a decline in investment – in physical and human capital. The United States got out of the Great Depression because of the spending associated with World War II but also because during the war, the U.S. dramatically reduced its consumption and expanded investments. People spent less; they saved more and bought war bonds. That surge in investment – by people and government – produced a generation of growth after the war.

If we want the next generation of growth, we need a similarly serious strategy of investment.


Source: CNN.com