Impressive gains have been made in expanding access to higher
education in East Asia over the past few decades, and the significance
of higher education is expected to increase as developing economies
face the challenge of sustaining growth in a competitive environment.
Still, much work needs to be done if higher education is to realize its
full potential to produce the skills and research needed for innovation
"Disconnects" between higher education institutions and
the skills and research users and providers they interact
with—firms, research institutes, earlier education institutions,
and other skill providers—have undermined the functioning of the
subsector. In order for higher education institutions to be more
responsive to the labor market, they should be better aligned with what
employers and employees need and better connected among themselves and
other skills providers. They also require stronger linkages with fi rms
and other research providers to deliver research that can enhance
innovation and productivity. Enacting policy reforms in the areas of
financing, public sector management, and stewardship of the entire
system will help the region achieve better skills and research outcomes
and, ultimately, growth.
Putting Higher Education to Work: Skills and Research for Growth
in East Asia takes an in-depth and comprehensive look at higher
education in East Asia—how it has changed, how it will continue
to evolve, and how it can be improved. Using innovative firm surveys
and the latest available evidence from the region, the authors identify
functional skills needed for competitiveness and productivity, and look
at how higher education systems can produce the type of skills and kind
of commercially applicable research that will drive growth. Though
focused on the developing countries in East Asia, the book's
methodologies, messages, and careful guidance will be of interest and
value to researchers and policy makers in all regions where higher
education and training are important issues.
This book is the first title in the East Asia and Pacific Regional
Report Series, a series that presents analyses of issues relevant to
the region, drawing on the global knowledge and experience of the World
Bank and its partners. This series aims to inform public discussion,
policy formulation, and development practitioners' actions, and
thereby turn challenges into opportunities.
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