Access and Affordability in Higher Education (Pre-print)
The demand for Higher education continues to rise. A key driver of this demand, according to a recent World Bank working paper, is the steady return on investment. The average rate of return on investment for private and social costs is estimated at 15.8% and 10.5% respectively. The returns are higher in lower-income countries relative to higher-income countries (Psacharopoulos & Patrinos, 2018). A study from the London School of Economics revealed that doubling the number of universities is associated with over 4% higher GDP per capita in a region (Valero & Reenen, 2016). The estimated global enrolment in tertiary education is expected to rise to 262 million by 2025 (Maslen, 2012) and 522 million by 2035 (Calderon, 2012). In real terms it means that if we are to accommodate the children who will reach enrolment age between now and 2025, we will need to build four new universities with a capacity of 30,000, every single week. // This item is published as "Staying Ahead: Open Learning in the Commonwealth" in the ACU Bulletin, no. 194, August 2018, pages 22-23 https://www.acu.ac.uk/publication/download?publication=766.