Breaking Higher Education's Iron Triangle: Access, Cost, and Quality
Expansion is now the defining trend in the worldwide development of higher education. Some predict that by 2020, 40 percent of the global workforce will be knowledge workers with a need for tertiary qualifications. So the World Bank, which made basic education its priority in the 1980s and 1990s, is now urging countries that have not yet done so to develop their higher education systems. And indeed, most claim that they want to join the knowledge society by following the example of developed countries, where age participation rates (APRs) in higher education of 40 to 50 percent are now perceived as necessary for sustained and sustainable development. // Accordingly, student enrollments in the developing world are burgeoning. Already there are some 140 million postsecondary students globally, if part-time enrollments are included. China and India have doubled enrollments in the past ten years, giving China the world’s largest higher education system, with some 25 million students. But the many developing countries with APRs of less than 10 percent have a big hill to climb.