Mass Tertiary Education in the Developing World: Distant Prospect or Distinct Possibility?
In the coming decades the global profile of tertiary education will be transformed by the multiplication and growth of institutions in the developing world. Age participation rates in tertiary education are below 10% in many poorer countries. To achieve the rate of 35% considered the threshold for 'developed' status these countries will greatly expand forms of provision that are marginal in richer countries today: private for-profit institutions, distance learning, and cross-border operations. When today's developing countries account for the majority of college students, tertiary education worldwide will look even more diversified as commercial providers adopt the systems and technologies of production and service industries. With appropriate international safeguards and national regulation, however, the benefits to individuals of this global expansion of access of tertiary education will outweigh any concerns that higher learning is losing its soul in a huge marketplace.