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Putting Higher Education to Work: Skills and Research for Growth in East Asia

Available in: 中文
Putting Higher Education to Work: Skills and Research for Growth in East Asia
  • Higher education is critical for sustained growth in low and middle income East Asia

  • Higher education can lift productivity and competitiveness in developing East Asian countries by:

    • Providing the high level skills demanded by the labor market—including technical, behavioral and thinking skills

    • Launching research needed for innovation and growth

  • Access to higher education has increased dramatically in the past two to three decades, but countries need to develop the right type of skills and research to be more competitive

  • To meet these goals, higher education needs to be seen as a system where individual institutions are well connected among themselves and to firms, research institutions and earlier levels of education

  • Public policy has a constructive role in improving higher education with high priority given to:

    • Financing:

      • Adequately finance research; prioritize underfunded fields such as science and engineering; provide sufficient scholarships and loans for the poor and disadvantaged

    • Managing public higher education institutions:

      • Improve the management of public higher education institutions, where 70% of all 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 greater power and responsibilities to institutions and governing boards and by providing students with information to choose and move across institutions

    • Providing better stewardship:

      • 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

Download the Full Report (1.95mb pdf)
Download the Overview (570kb pdf)

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Download the report
Full report (1.95mb pdf)
Overview (570kb pdf)
Summary (96kb pdf)
Chapter 1 (378kb pdf)
Higher Education for Growth through Skills and Research
Chapter 2 (314kb pdf)
Is Higher Education Meeting Its Promises?
Chapter 3 (369kb pdf)
Disconnects in Higher Education
Chapter 4 (321kb pdf)
Financing Higher Education
Chapter 5 (273kb pdf)
Managing Public Higher Education
Chapter 6 (312kb pdf)
Providing Stewardship for Higher Education
Appendices and References (375kb pdf)

The report will be available for purchase on October 26, 2011. Click here to pre-order your copy.

See also:
Feature Story: On Social Media, East Asian Youth Echo Shortcomings of Higher Education
Consultations (Thailand, Korea, Indonesia, and via GDLN)

World Bank Live (chat)
Lead Economist Emanuela di Gropello and Economist Prateek Tandon discussed the findings and recommendations in the report during a live Q&A with readers.
Replay the discussion

Video: Putting Higher Education to Work
Slideshow: Path to Success in East Asia

For journalists
Press release
In Washington, DC:
Claudia Gabarain
+1 (202) 473-8116


What higher education and skills will be most needed for the labor markets of the future?

How can higher education contribute to improving an innovation agenda?

How can access to higher education be expanded?

Last updated: 2011-12-08

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