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Rethinking Higher Education Investment in Developing Countries

Annual Review of Comparative and International Education 2017

ISBN: 978-1-78743-766-1, eISBN: 978-1-78743-765-4

ISSN: 1479-3679

Publication date: 5 February 2018


This essay reconsiders the impact of higher education on national and global development and the related implications of current trends in investment in education. There is a general consensus that investing in higher education positively influences economic development and drives innovation; however, this investment also has wider-reaching impact across other sectors important to social development and equity. At present, developing and emerging economies generally fail to meet international budget targets for education. This translates into exponentially less spending on higher education, which affects quality, access, learning, productive capacity, and competitiveness. Additionally, official development assistance investment in higher education still lags behind primary education and is structured in a way that may divert funds away from recipient countries and long-term institutional change. These circumstances raise important questions for researchers in the field of comparative and international education studies. How can developing countries better advance their higher education systems to drive national and global development, especially given resource limitations? Which models, practices, and investment strategies are most relevant for advancing these goals in low-income settings? Answering these questions will assist policymakers and practitioners committed to improving opportunities for individuals and communities in developing economies.



Peercy, C. and Svenson, N. (2018), "Rethinking Higher Education Investment in Developing Countries", Wiseman, A.W. (Ed.) Annual Review of Comparative and International Education 2017 (International Perspectives on Education and Society, Vol. 34), Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 39-47.



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