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The chapter reflects on research that rethinks classic concerns of comparative and international education – the relationships between education and work and the role of…
The chapter reflects on research that rethinks classic concerns of comparative and international education – the relationships between education and work and the role of education in development. The promises of knowledge-led economic growth have instead yielded increased inequality, poverty, environmental degradation and a decline in the quality of life for the majority, whether in advanced economies of the North, or least developed economies of the South. For education and training systems, the ability to understand these complex social, economic and technological challenges, interpret implications and integrate new practices in response, becomes critical. We reflect on the use of an innovation systems approach in the South, over time, to investigate the ways in which higher education responds to and interacts with, demand for skills from the economy. By highlighting the role of university actors and their interaction in networks, comparative and international researchers can move beyond dominant human capital accounts that focus only on the responsibility of higher education to become more responsive to firms, or on individuals to prepare themselves to be more employable, in a mechanistic reactive manner. This is a promising new emphasis for comparative research.
This chapter provides a critical assessment of an article on higher education and economic development, by analyzing the ways the authors reflect on the importance of…
This chapter provides a critical assessment of an article on higher education and economic development, by analyzing the ways the authors reflect on the importance of building technological capabilities. The need to demonstrate the use of evolutionary economics and innovation systems approach in demonstrating higher education contribution to economic growth motivated the article. The critique begins by examining the dominant theories and reflective pieces used by scholars to explain higher education’s contribution to economic development, and then situate the evolutionary economics and innovation systems approach used in the article in this discourse. This critical assessment also delves into how the article approaches the subject matter of higher education; and, the methods used to gather evidence for the case of higher education in South Africa. The chapter then condenses popular views on the role of higher education in economic development and assesses whether “building technological capabilities” is one such view or it is an emerging role. In conclusion, the chapter synthesizes the various sections in the article and isolates the key issues that underpin each of the sections and how each issue is manifested in the higher education sector. The conclusion unloads the overall construction of the article to succinctly knit the bigger argument advanced by the article and provide reasons for the viewpoints supported by this assessment.