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Exploring the relationship between the urbanization, higher education and female labor force with sustainable development

Simona Andreea Apostu (Department of Statistics and Econometrics, Bucharest University of Economic Studies, Bucharest, Romania) (Institute of National Economy, Romanian Academy, Bucharest, Romania)
Mirela Panait (Institute of National Economy, Romanian Academy, Bucharest, Romania) (Faculty of Economic Sciences, Petroleum-Gas University of Ploiesti, Ploiesti, Romania)
Iza Gigauri (School of Business, Computing and Social Sciences, St. Andrew the First-Called Georgian University, Tbilisi, Georgia)
Patrick Blessinger (Office of Executive Director, HETL Association, Kew Gardens, New York, USA) (School of Education, St. John's University, Queens, New York, USA)

Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education

ISSN: 2050-7003

Article publication date: 16 May 2023

Issue publication date: 5 March 2024




The article aims to identify the determinants of the urbanization process given the magnitude of this phenomenon and also its economic, social and environmental implications and pressure on public authorities to find viable solutions in the context of sustainable development.


The research is based on regression analysis with urbanization growth being the dependent variable and enrollment in higher education, GDP, value added by industry and female labor force as independent variables.


The main factors that favor urbanization are the increase in population, industry value-added and the female labor force. Urbanization is an objective that must be pursued differently by public authorities in developed and developing countries, given the different realities they face-population growth in developing countries, and population aging and international migration in developed countries.

Research limitations/implications

The present research has limitations generated by the selection of independent variables, which is why in future directions, the research will consider the use of other indicators such as the number of graduates, exports as percent of GDP or migrations as a percentage of the total population. Given the complexity of the phenomenon of urbanization, future research will focus on groups of countries as they resulted from the clustering made by this article.

Practical implications

The impact of higher education on urbanization is low, which is why the intensification of partnerships between municipal authorities and universities could be a solution that ensures not only the transfer of knowledge from academia to the public sector but also from entrepreneurs increasingly aware of the importance of promoting SDGs for urban development in the context of the challenges posed by global warming. The involvement of women in the labor market is essential for the intensification of the urbanization process. The increasing presence of women in the labor market generates an increase in the income of families, an increase in the level of education and an intensification of national and international migration. The research findings can be used by policy and decision-makers to develop appropriate urbanization and education policies and strategies.


The existence of inhomogeneous clusters is noticeable, which demonstrates the complexity of the urbanization phenomenon that is present in all countries around the world, but under the influence of different factors such as the export of natural resources (mainly oil) or the intensification of industrial activity. Taking into account the variables used, this study stands out in the multitude of articles published in the international mainstream.



Apostu, S.A., Panait, M., Gigauri, I. and Blessinger, P. (2024), "Exploring the relationship between the urbanization, higher education and female labor force with sustainable development", Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education, Vol. 16 No. 2, pp. 427-445.



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