Call for education boom East Asia

Nieuws | de redactie
28 oktober 2011 | The World Bank urges East Asian countries like Indonesia, Vietnam and China to increase higher education spending to produce more graduates. Right now, universities produce too few graduates able to innovate their economies.

Higher Education in Asia grows more important than ever. WhileIndia aims at expanding its student population from 15million to 40 million students until 2020, other countries likeChina, Indonesia and co. try to follow suit. The World Bank nowanalyzed how much developing countries in East Asia use thepotential of higher education to foster economic growth.

In the report “Putting Higher Education to Work -Skills and Research for Growth in East Asia” the World Bank drawsan overall dire picture. “Some countries like Indonesia and thePhilippines  are still decades away from acquiring thetechnological capabilities of the leading industrial nations.”

More graduates, more business integration

To help these countries catch up, higher education and researchwould have to play a bigger role in the East Asian economies whichare currently geared towards manufacturing with low-value-addingoperations. More student places needed to be created as largecountries like Indonesia with its 230 million population featurelow HE participation rates of 18,4%.

“The quantity of higher education graduates is still too low forthe labor market in countries like Cambodia, China, and Vietnam.Higher education today does not suf?ciently provide its graduateswith the skills that ?rms need to increase their productivity,”according to the report’s authors.

Greater efforts would consequently have to be made to not onlyproduce more graduates, but also give students the tools needed tocreate innovation in their economies. East Asian governments wouldnow need to expand higher education funding of public universitieswhich account for more than 70% of student enrolments.

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