Thursday, October 13, 2011

[IWS] World Bank: Putting Higher Education to Work: Skills and Research for Growth in East Asia [13 October 2011]

IWS Documented News Service
Institute for Workplace Studies----------------- Professor Samuel B. Bacharach
School of Industrial & Labor Relations-------- Director, Institute for Workplace Studies
Cornell University
16 East 34th Street, 4th floor----------------------
Stuart Basefsky
New York, NY 10016 -------------------------------Director, IWS News Bureau

World Bank


Putting Higher Education to Work: Skills and Research for Growth in East Asia [13 October 2011],,contentMDK:22535968~pagePK:146736~piPK:226340~theSitePK:226301,00.html

[full-text, 246 pages]


Press Release 13 October 2011

Improvements in Higher Education Needed to Sustain Growth in Low and Middle Income East Asia,,contentMDK:23021841~pagePK:34370~piPK:34424~theSitePK:4607,00.html



TOKYO, October 13, 2011 - Low- and middle-income countries in East Asia need to make their higher education systems more responsive to labor market demands and the economy as a whole to climb up the income ladder, says a new World Bank East Asia and Pacific Regional Report released today.


Across the region, higher education institutions can realize their full potential by providing skills and research to spur productivity and innovation, considered critical to achieving growth in a competitive global environment.

Titled “Putting Higher Education to Work: Skills and Research for Growth in East Asia”, the report sheds light on the functional skills that workers must possess to be employable and to support firms’ competitiveness and productivity. It also examines how higher education systems can produce research that will help apply, adapt and develop new technologies that will drive growth.


Impressive gains have been made in expanding access to higher education over the past two to three decades in the region, with enrollment rates rising to 20 percent or more in many countries from very low levels. The greater challenge overall is improving quality, to address vulnerabilities in developing and deploying enough of the right type of skills and research.


The report suggests three priority areas where public policy can play a constructive role in improving higher education outcomes:


More efficient and effective financing

  • Adequately finance and incentivize research
  • Prioritize underfunded fields such as science and engineering
  • Provide sufficient scholarships and loans for the poor and disadvantaged


Better management of public institutions

  • Improve the management of public higher education institutions, where 70 percent of all East Asian students are enrolled, by encouraging greater autonomy and accountability
  • Greater decision making autonomy in areas such as academic curricula, staffing and budgeting should be encouraged
  • Accountability can be enhanced by delegating more power and responsibilities to institutions and governing boards and by providing students with information to choose and move across institutions


Stewardship of the higher education system

  • Put in place adequate incentives for private institutions so that they can further help governments increase enrollment and strengthen skills
  • Ensure stronger links between industry and universities
  • Take advantage of opportunities provided by international higher education markets


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Stuart Basefsky                   
Director, IWS News Bureau                
Institute for Workplace Studies 
Cornell/ILR School                        
16 E. 34th Street, 4th Floor             
New York, NY 10016                        
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