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Massification of higher education revisited

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Abstract and Figures

The purpose of this paper is to revisit time series data of students enrolled in higher education from a global perspective and provide a historical lens by which to better understand the unprecedented expansion it has taken place over the past forty or so years. The landscape of higher education globally continues to shift remarkably. According to the UNESCO Institute for Statistics, in 1970 there were 32.6 million students enrolled in higher education institutions compared to 99.9 million in 2000. Although there are signs that enrolments in higher education around the globe are slowing down (in part influenced by a declining youth population and lower fertility rates), it is estimated that by 2030 there would be 377.4 million, 471.4 million by 2035 and 594.1 million students by 2040.
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Massification of higher education
revisited
Angel J Calderon, Analytics & Insights
Melbourne, Australia
June 2018
Introduction
2
The purpose of this paper is to revisit time series data of students enrolled in higher education from a global perspective and
provide a historical lens by which to better understand the unprecedented expansion it has taken place over the past forty or
so years. In doing so it is hoped this paper provokes debate among academics and decision makers about the policy responses
required from the observed shifts across national systems.
In revisiting time series data on the number of students enrolled in higher education (or tertiary education as it is also
referred), collected by the UNESCO Institute for Statistics, it is also an opportunity to update prospective enrolments to 2035
and beyond by global region. The set of forecasts to 2035 were originally published by the author in 2012, using data drawn
from UNESCO covering the period from 1999 to 2009.
To guide the reader, this paper is divided in the following sections:
Section 1 provides an overview of enrolments globally and highlights key developments for every world region.
Section 2 focuses on some aspects about the massification of higher education, namely: gross enrolment ratios for
tertiary education, enrolments as a share of the population and mega systems of higher education.
As a precursor to providing detail about higher education enrolments to 2040, Section 3 highlights population forecasts
by world region.
Section 4 synthesizes the key findings of the higher education enrolment forecasts to 2040 by world region and provides
estimates of enrolments as a share of the overall population.
Acknowledgments
I thank the useful suggestions received from Martin Ince from Ince Communications; Victor del Rio from Red River Strategic
Communication; Sean Lee, Sharron Jackson, John Le and Cat Gomes from RMIT University and Anand Kulkarni.
Special thanks to Vanessa Tiong for the graphic artwork and to Maria Veronica Gandini (Universidad Nacional de Catamarca)
for translating this report into Spanish.
2000 2005 2010 2015 2020 2025 2030 2035 2040
Enrolment size over time ('mil)
Arab States Central & Eastern Europe Central Asia East Asia & the Pacific
Latin America & the Caribbean North America & Western Europe South & West Asia Sub-Saharan Africa
Higher education in numbers
3
Enrolments per 100,000 inhabitants -global
9.9
15.6
36.8
0
10
20
30
40
1971 1975 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000 2005 2010 2015 2016
Gross enrolment ratio tertiary level over time global
1,255
1990 2015
2,900 6,451
2040
……………… ………
99.9
214.1
377.4
471.7
305.9
250.7
594.1
Contents
4
Section Title Description Page
1Global overview and regional shifts Global highlights
Perspectives by world region (1999 to 2016) 5
2Gross enrolment ratios and enrolments as a share of the
population
Highlights by world region, including massification and
changes in participation explained over time 12
3Global population forecasts Population estimates by world region 19
4Enrolment forecasts to 2040 Forecasts by world region (including estimates of
enrolments as a share of the overall population) 22
Parting thoughts 28
Appendices Method
References 29
Section 1 Global overview and
regional shifts
Highlights by world region
5
Global overview
From 32.6 m students in 1970 to 594.1 m by 2040
6
The landscape of higher education globally continues to shift remarkably.
According to the UNESCO Institute for Statistics, in 1970 there were 32.6
million students enrolled in higher education institutions compared to 99.9
million in 2000. This represents an increase of 206% over this period.
Although there are signs that enrolments in higher education around the
globe are slowing down (in part influenced by a declining youth population
and lower fertility rates), it is estimated that by 2030 there would be 377.4
million, 471.4 million by 2035 and 594.1 million students by 2040.
This growth would represent an increase of 281% over the 30 years from 2000
to 2030; the growth over the period from 2000 to 2030 is likely to be higher
than that experienced between 1970 and 2000.
While the expected growth of 4.2% per year in higher education enrolments
from 214.1 million in 2015 to 594.1 million by 2040 seem staggering, consider
that the world economy doubled in size between 1990 and 2016 (WTO, 2017).
Further consider, export in services from developing countries grew tenfold
between 1990 and 2014 whilst growing at half the rate of service exports
among advanced economies (Loungani, Papageorgiou & Wang, 2017). Even a
small growth in percentage points a year add up over the long term.
32.6 50.8 68.3 99.9
181.5 214.1 250.8
377.4
594.1
1970 1980 1990 2000 2010 2015 2020 2030 2040
Fig. 1: Global higher education enrolments
Actual 1970 to 2015 and Projection to 2040 (mil)
Source: Prepared by author, using data from UIS (2018)
Decision makers are urged to consider:
The point of sustainability between the public versus private costs
and benefits of tertiary education. Unmet demand for tertiary
education may arise if it is left to open markets. The quality of
national systems may be weaken if there is further erosion of the role
of universities in the pursuit of national goals or mutually beneficial
collective systems.
Online learning and other types and forms of delivery will continue
to scale up. The university’s algorithm will be further altered by new
emerging providers (with an industry-and job-oriented focus) and
newer technologies shaping the curricula. For the sake of survival,
institutions and entities will need to adopt blended modes, types and
forms of delivery to suit a variety of stakeholders in different
geolocations.
Greater targeted efforts are needed to support an increasingly
culturally and ethnically diverse student (and academic staff)
population as well as attaining gender balance.
7
Global overview … cont’d
Table 1: Global enrolments in higher education by region, 2000-2016 (' mil)
2000 2005 2010 2015 2016
Arab States 5.1 6.9 8.7 10.7 10.8
Central & Eastern Europe 14.0 19.5 21.6 19.5 18.9
Central Asia 1.5 2.1 2.2 2.1 2.0
East Asia & the Pacific 25.3 41.3 55.3 69.4 70.9
Latin America & the Caribbean 11.5 16.1 21.6 25.3 26.2
North America & Western Europe 27.8 33.7 37.8 37.5 37.5
South & West Asia 12.2 16.1 28.5 42.2 42.2
Sub-Saharan Africa 2.6 4.1 5.8 7.4 7.4
World 99.9 139.6 181.5 214.1 215.9
Source: UNESCO Institute for Statistics, data accessed on 27 March 2018
The United States was the first country that experienced massification
of higher education. During the first 30 years of the 20th century
enrolments increased on average 5.5% per year from 237,592 in the fall
of 1899/1900 to 1,110,737 in 1909/1910. During the years of the
depression of the 1930s and during the years of World War II saw a
decrease in participation in higher education but by the end of the
1940s enrolments surged once again. Between 1939/40 and 1949/50
enrolments increased almost by a million from 1.5 million to 2.4 million.
During the 1960s growth in enrolments averaged 9.2% per year and
during the 1970s enrolments averaged 4.2% per year (Snyder 1993).
However, growth in enrolments in the United States averaged 1.2% per
year between 2006 and 2015 (UIS, 2018).
After the United States, European countries saw an increase in
participation in higher education following War World II where
advances in the sciences, technology and industrialisation resulted in
an increased in production and improved living standards. These
factors encouraged growth in participation in higher education in
Europe. Enrolments in 28 European states (excluding the United
Kingdom and Greece) totaled 2.3 million in 1950 and increased to
over 6.3 million by 1965 (UNESCO, 1967). The expansion of higher
education in the emerging countries of Asia commenced later, and in
more recent years the rapid expansion in Latin America has taken
place. In 1975, there were 5.1 million enrolments in East Asia & the
Pacific and South Asia, increasing by 61% to 8.1 million by 1980. By
contrast, in Latin America & the Caribbean enrolments went up by
38% from 3.6 million in 1975 to 4.9 million in 1980.
Regional shifts
East Asia & the Pacific overtook North America & Western Europe in 2003
8
Up to 2002 there were more students enrolled in higher education from North America & Europe than any other world region. In 2003, East
Asia & the Pacific overtook North America & Western Europe both in highest volume and global share of enrolments. In 2014 South & West
Asia overtook North America & Europe as the world’s top third region. These shifts in enrolments are comparable with the United Nations’
world population estimates as discussed in Section 2.
0.0%
10.0%
20.0%
30.0%
-
10.0
20.0
30.0
40.0
50.0
2000 2004 2008 2012 2016
% Global share
# Enrolments (mil)
Fig. 2: North America & Western Europe enrolments and
global share
# mil %
0.0%
10.0%
20.0%
30.0%
40.0%
-
20.0
40.0
60.0
80.0
2000 2004 2008 2012 2016
% Global share
# Enrolments (mil)
Fig. 3 East Asia and the Pacific enrolments and global share
# mil %
Historically North America & Western Europe had the volume and
greatest share of global enrolments. In 2002, there were 31.3 million
students from the region which represented 26.8% of the world’s total
enrolments (117.0 million). The region’s share of global enrolments
declined 9.4 points to 17.4% in 2016 (and fourth region globally), even
though enrolments have continued to rise to 37.5 million in 2016.
The shift from public to private funding for tuition and provision has
weakened the region’s overall performance. Governments need to
continue delivering on improved educational pathway opportunities,
lifting completion rates and providing meaningful labor market
opportunities to graduates from disadvantaged background. These are
critical in maintaining social and economic cohesiveness in such
diversified societies.
Countries in this region with the largest number of enrolments are the
United States (19.5 million in 2015), then followed by Germany, France,
the United Kingdom, Ireland, Spain and Italy (all of which had between
1.9 million and 3.0 million enrolments in 2016).
East Asia & the Pacific has become the epicenter of global higher education
activity and is significantly driven by the steady growth of population and
increased participation in tertiary education which is yet to reach equivalent
levels like Central & Eastern Europe and North America & Western Europe. It
is also the region that is progressively strengthening its research, knowledge
and innovation footprint. For example, China published more papers
compared to the United States in the field of Engineering and Technology
during the period 2012 to 2017 (SciVal, 2018). The growth in enrolments in
the region averaged 6.7% per year between 2000 and 2016, but it dropped to
4.6% per year between 2007 and 2016. In 2000, there were 25.3 million
enrolments, increasing to 70.9 million by 2016.
Countries with the largest number of enrolments are China (43.9 million in
2016), followed by Indonesia (6.1 million), Japan, Philippines and South
Korea (between 3.2 million and 3.8 million, respectively), then Vietnam and
Thailand (with over 2.2 million each) and Australia (1.9 million). Several
countries in the region (like Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos) are yet to see
increases in participation in tertiary education.
Source: Prepared by author, using data from UIS (2018) Source: Prepared by author, using data from UIS (2018)
Regional shifts
South & West Asia continues to expand rapidly followed by Latin America & the Caribbean
9
0.0%
5.0%
10.0%
15.0%
20.0%
25.0%
-
10.0
20.0
30.0
40.0
50.0
2000 2004 2008 2012 2016
% Global share
# Enrolments (mil)
Fig. 4 South and West Asia enrolments and global share
# mil %
The next world region that is expanding at a faster rate compared to East
Asia & the Pacific is South & West Asia, which had a compound annual
growth of 8.1% between 2000 and 2016, and still higher at 8.4% per year
between 2007 and 2016. In 2000, there were 12.2 million enrolments and
increased to 42.2 million by 2016. Although the annual rate of growth
slowed down to 2.9 per year between 2012 and 2016, South & West Asia
is still a region that is yet to have a greater impact on the global higher
education space.
To the extent that secondary education attainment rates improve and
access and participation for disadvantaged students rise, the region’s
greatest impact could be visible possibly over the next 15-25 years’ time.
Improvement to the quality of education, including better teacher
preparation are necessary.
Countries with the largest number of enrolments are India (32.4 million in
2016), followed by Iran (4.2 million), Bangladesh (2.7 million) and Pakistan
(1.9 million). Every country in this region (Iran excepted) have a GER at
tertiary level under 30.0.
0.0%
5.0%
10.0%
15.0%
-
5.0
10.0
15.0
20.0
25.0
30.0
2000 2004 2008 2012 2016
% Global share
# Enrolments (mil)
Fig 5. Latin America and the Caribbean enrolments and
global share
# mil %
At the start of the 21st century, Latin America & the Caribbean ranked fifth
globally in terms of overall enrolments in higher education, behind the
above-mentioned regions and Central & Eastern Europe. In fact, Latin
America & the Caribbean lagged behind Central & Eastern Europe by more
than 2.4 million enrolments in 2000, and by 2016 Latin America & the
Caribbean exceeded by 7.3 million. Growth in enrolments in Latin America &
the Caribbean averaged 5.3% annually between 2000 and 2016 and slowed
down to 3.9% per year between 2007 and 2016. Between 2012 and 2016 it
grew by 3.1% per year between. In 2000, there were 11.5 million enrolments
in Latin America & the Caribbean, increasing to 26.2 million by 2016. Since
2010, the region has had the fourth largest share of tertiary enrolments
globally (12.1% in 2016).
Growth in tertiary education participation in the region has been fueled
through private consumption and provision in a region that is renown for
profound inequality which hinders sustained development. Improved overall
policy instruments and greater public investment are necessary.
Countries in this region with the largest number of enrolments are Brazil (8.3
million in 2016), followed by Mexico (4.2 million); then Argentina and
Colombia (2.9 million and 2.3 million, respectively) and Chile (1.2 million).
Source: Prepared by author, using data from UIS (2018) Source: Prepared by author, using data from UIS (2018)
Regional shifts
Global share of enrolments in Central & Eastern Europe decrease while Arab States remain stable
10
0.0%
5.0%
10.0%
15.0%
20.0%
-
5.0
10.0
15.0
20.0
25.0
2000 2004 2008 2012 2016
% Global share
# Enrolments (mil)
Fig. 6 Central and Eastern Europe enrolments and global
share
# mil %
Source: Prepared by author, using data from UIS (2018)
0.0%
1.0%
2.0%
3.0%
4.0%
5.0%
6.0%
-
2.0
4.0
6.0
8.0
10.0
12.0
2000 2004 2008 2012 2016
% Global share
# Enrolments (mil)
Fig. 7 Arab States enrolments and global share
# mil %
Source: Prepared by author, using data from UIS (2018)
Until 2007, Central & Eastern Europe was the region with the third highest
volume of enrolments in higher education. In 2000, there were 14.0 million
enrolments (14.0% global share), increasing to 21.6 million in 2010 and since
then enrolments have declined to 18.9 million in 2016 (8.7% global share).
This is a trend consistent with a decline in the population of the age group
that typically corresponds to this level of education. Interestingly, Central &
Eastern Europe is the world region that nine out of ten years between 2007
and 2016 had the highest number of students per 100,000 inhabitants (4,687
in 2016, second to North America & Western Europe with 4,772). Central &
Eastern European countries have undergone significant transformation in
every ambit since the breakdown of the Soviet Union.
The critical changes that have occurred in this region over the past 18 years
are the breakdown of the state monopoly on education (and therefore giving
rise to marketisation and private provision), the depolitisation of education
and the repositioning of institutions in the context of European political and
market integration (see Dobbins 2011).
Countries in this region with the largest number of enrolments are the
Russian Federation (6.2 million in 2016), Turkey (6.1 million), then both
Ukraine and Poland (1.7 and 1.6 million, respectively).
The overall share of global enrolments of Arab States remained stable
over the period from 2000 to 2016. In 2000, there were 4.9 million
enrolments in higher education (5.1% global share), increasing
progressively to 10.9 million by 2016 (5.0% global share). Growth in
enrolments averaged 4.9% annually between 2000 and 2016, but it
decreased to 4.4% annually between 2012 and 2016. Another way by
which to compare the region to other emerging regions is to compare the
gross enrolment ratio of Arab States in 2016 (32.0%) which stood at the
same level of Latin America & the Caribbean in 2006 or the world’s
average in 2012.
This improvement in participation is a result of increased diversification
and focus on part of states to develop higher education, based on the US-
style liberal arts institution model. Higher education reform in the region is
confronted with a myriad of challenges that spread over demographic,
political and economic considerations, and these are unlikely to overcome
in the next 10 to 20 years’ time (see for example Wilkens, 2011).
States in this region with the largest number of enrolments are Egypt (2.8
million in 2016), followed by Saudi Arabia (1.6 million) and Algeria (1.4
million). Out of the 20 states included in this region, there is timely data
for 14 and for the remaining six data lags four or more years.
Regional shifts
Enrolments in Sub Saharan continue to rise while Central Asia flattens
11
0.0%
1.0%
2.0%
3.0%
4.0%
-
2.0
4.0
6.0
8.0
2000 2004 2008 2012 2016
% Global share
# Enrolments (mil)
Fig. 8 Sub-Saharan Africa enrolments and global share
# mil %
0.0%
0.5%
1.0%
1.5%
2.0%
-
0.5
1.0
1.5
2.0
2.5
2000 2004 2008 2012 2016
% Global share
# Enrolments (mil)
Fig. 9 Central Asia enrolments and global share
# mil %
Although the annual growth in enrolments in Sub-Saharan Africa (6.7%)
was above the world’s average (4.9%) and equal to that of East Asia & the
Pacific between 2000 and 2016, only 8.5% of its eligible population in the
age group participated in higher education in 2016. This rate of
participation is significantly lower than any other world region. Of concern
is the fact that the annual growth in enrolments between 2012 and 2016
declined to 2.8%.
The deacceleration in growth reflects the challenges the region confronts in
financing higher education and for institutions in the region absorbing the
demand that has resulted from increased completion rates in secondary
education. In 2000, there were 2.6 million students enrolled in higher
education (2.6% global share), increasing to 7.4 million by 2016 (3.4%
global share).
Countries in this region with the largest number of enrolments are Nigeria
(1.5 million in 2011), followed by South Africa (1.1 million in 2015), then
Ethiopia (0.8 million in 2014) and Democratic Republic of the Congo and
Ghana (under 0.5 million between 2014 and 2016). Like the Arab States,
there is also limited capacity in this region in the systematic capture and
reporting of statistical information, which inhibits the ability for national
systems to undertake long term planning.
While Central Asia had the smallest number of enrolments of all world
regions in 2016, it had a higher education participation rate (25.7%) above
Sub-Saharan Africa (8.5%) and South & West Asia (25.0%) in2016. Growth
in enrolments average 2.0% annually between 2000 and 2016, but it has
resulted in negative growth since 2009. In 2000, there were 1.5 million
enrolments in higher education and peaked in 2008 at 2.3 million, declining
since then to 2.0 million by 2016.
The likelihood that enrolments in tertiary education increase considerably
over the next 20 or so years are not feasible as the region has a declining
share of the population that corresponds to the age cohort (i.e. 18-23) that
participates in higher education.
Countries in this region with the highest volume of enrolments are
Kazakhstan (0.6 million in 2017), then Uzbekistan and Tajikistan (0.3
million each in 2017).
Source: Prepared by author, using data from UIS (2018)
Source: Prepared by author, using data from UIS (2018)
Section 2 Gross enrolment ratios
and enrolments as a share of the
population
Massification and changes in participation explained over time
12
Gross enrolment ratios and population growth
13
To better illustrate the extent to which massification of higher education has occurred, a brief examination is done about the number of
students enrolled in tertiary education over the 5-year age group starting from the official secondary school graduation age. This relative
measure of participation provides an insight into the overall level of education of a given region or country, and relative preparedness of
young persons to enter the work force and provides basis for comparison across regions and countries. A higher GER also highlights a
degree of relative economic prosperity.
The gross enrolment ratio (GER) by world region is shown in Table 2. As it can be seen, the world’s ratio has increased from 9.9% in 1971 to
36.8% in 2016. Significant year-on-year gains started to occur from 1994 and gathered pace at the start of the 2000s. In part these gains
reflect outcomes of globalization but also of improvements made in several different facets (e.g. increased participation of women in
education and labor force, higher secondary education completion rates and improved access to higher education) (World Bank, 2000). North
America & Western Europe which traditionally had the highest enrolment ratios was overtaken by Central & Eastern Europe in 2015.
Countries from Central & Eastern Europe started to report substantial growth in student enrolments at the start of the 1990s as many of these
countries started to embark on political, social and economic transition and long lasting reforms.
Both Latin America & the Caribbean as well as East Asia & the Pacific regions are most likely to have reached a 50% enrolment ratio by 2018.
Countries from both of these regions have also made significant gains since they embarked on a number of economic and societal reforms,
although there are improvements yet to be realised in many other countries which are lagging in reform and increased investment in
education.
Table 2: Gross enrolment ratio, tertiary education by world region, 1971-2016
1971
1975
1980
1985
1990
1995
2000
2005
2010
2015
2016
Arab States
6.1
7.7
9.9
11.3
11.3
14.1
18.5
22.2
25.5
31.2
32.0
Central & Eastern Europe
29.9
29.2
30.5
33.4
34.2
32.6
43.1
58.8
69.1
77.2
77.7
Central Asia
24.2
24.6
25.4
22.8
22.2
27.0
24.9
25.3
25.7
East Asia & the Pacific
3.0
3.8
5.3
6.9
7.4
10.4
15.4
23.1
27.8
41.6
43.9
Latin America & the
Caribbean
7.0
11.3
13.5
17.5
16.8
18.6
22.6
30.7
39.9
46.8
48.4
North America & Western
Europe
30.9
35.6
38.4
41.0
48.8
60.1
60.4
70.4
77.3
76.6
76.7
South & West Asia
4.3
4.4
4.5
5.5
5.7
5.6
8.8
10.3
17.3
25.1
25.0
Sub-Saharan Africa
0.9
1.1
1.8
2.4
3.0
3.7
4.4
5.9
7.4
8.5
8.5
World
9.9
11.2
12.4
13.4
13.6
15.6
19.0
24.2
29.3
36.1
36.8
Source: UNESCO Institute for Statistics, data accessed on 6 April 2018
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
70
80
90
100
1234567891011
14
Gross enrolment ratios and population growth cont’d
On a regional basis, there are significant differences in the level of participation in higher education. To put it in context,
using North America & Western Europe as the benchmark, it is observed that in 2016:
Sub-Saharan Africa stood half way where North America & Western Europe was pre 1960s
South & West Asia stood where North America & Western Europe was in the 1960s
Central Asia stood where North America & Western Europe was in the 1960s
Arab States stood where North America & Western Europe was in 1972
Latin America & the Caribbean stood where North America & Western Europe was in 1990
East Asia & the Pacific stood where North America & Western Europe was in 1987/88
Central & Eastern Europe stood where North America & Western Europe was in 2010
Arab States 32
1972
North America & Western Europe
Central & Eastern Europe
77.7
2010
1960s
1987/88
East Asia & the Pacific 43.9
1990
Latin America &
the Caribbean
48.4
South & West Asia 25 Central Asia 25.7
2016 World Comparison
Sub-Saharan
Africa 8.5
2016
Source: Prepared by author, using data from UIS (2018)
15
Gross enrolment ratios and population growth cont’d
Massification explained
Another lens by which to view the current standing of national systems
in terms of development and participation in education is to map it
against Martin Trow’s conceptions of elite, mass and universal higher
education. In Trow’s views (2006):
An ‘elite system’ is one in which the prevailing attitude is that
access to higher education is a privilege of birth or talent or both.
In terms of measurement it means less than 15% of the
population that correspond to that age cohort (18 to 23 years old
for tertiary education) participate in higher education. The
function of higher education in an ‘elite system’ is about shaping
the mind and character of the ruling class.
A ‘mass system’ is one in which the prevailing attitude is that
access to higher education is a right for those with certain
qualifications. It means that up to 50% of the population that
corresponds to that age cohort (18 to 23 years old for tertiary
education) participate in higher education. The function of higher
education in a ‘mass system’ is the transmission of skills and the
preparation of the population for broader range of technical and
economic elite roles.
A ‘universal system’ is one in which the prevailing attitude is that
access to higher education is an obligation for the middle and
upper classes. It means that over 50% of the population that
corresponds to that age cohort (18 to 23 years old for tertiary
education) participate in higher education. The function of higher
education in a ‘universal system’ is about the adaption of whole
population to social and technological change.
Out of 176 countries for which gross enrolment ratios for tertiary
education are available from UNESCO, 60 (or 34%) of these have a ‘universal
system’ of higher education. Unsurprisingly the countries with such systems
are foremost found in North America & Western Europe (88%) followed by
Central & East Europe (76%). 68 countries (or 39% out of 176) have a ‘mass
system’ or are in transition to having an ‘universal system and the region with
the highest proportion of countries in this category is the Arab States,
followed by East Asia & the Pacific and then Latin America & the Caribbean.
48 countries (or 27%) have an ‘elite system’ and these are predominantly
found in Sub-Saharan Africa. Figure 10 shows the distribution by world
region.
34
2
2
3
2
5
7
17
3
14
5
15
4
3
0
11
21
7
16
1
3
1
0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45
Sub-Saharan Africa
Latin America & the Caribbean
North America & Western Europe
East Asia & the Pacific
Central & Eastern Europe
Arab States
Central Asia
South & West Asia
Fig. 10 Number of countries by region according to Trow's elite,
massive and universal systems
Less than 15% (Elite) Between 15-50% (Mass) Greater than 50% (Universal)
The term ‘massification’ denote mass enrolments in a national system
and the term was first used by Martin Trow.
60 countries have a universal system
Source: Prepared by author, using data from UIS (2018)
16
Gross enrolment ratios and population growth cont’d
By mapping Trow’s higher education conceptions to the standing of national systems, based on the latest available data from
UNESCO, one sees how the transformation of countries from ‘elite’ to ‘universal’ systems have evolved over the past forty years. In doing
so the significant investment, as well as political and social commitments required to attain such a change can be observed.
Consider, the path that countries such as Chile, Korea and Turkey having a GER under 10.0 % in 1970 had a ratio that exceeded
90.0% in 2016; or the leap progress made by countries such as Colombia and Iran that have attained a ‘mass system’ over the past
twenty years. Further consider, China has invested considerably in education since the 2000s and had moved from having a ratio of
under 10% in 2000 to attain a 48.4% GER by 2016. It is highly likely that China will attain a ratio of 60% within the next five years and
70% within 10 years’ time. In examining the historical data from UNESCO and the annual statistical companion from the U.S. National
Center for Education Statistics it appears likely that China will attain a comparable GER at the tertiary level to that of the United States
within the next 20 to 25 years’ time.
Figure 11 illustrates the GER evolution for selected countries from the 1970s to 2016. There are some years for which data is not
available, hence the gap between years as shown in the graph. For example, the latest year for which data for the United States is 1998
with a GER of 71.6% down from 78.6 in 1996.
0.0
20.0
40.0
60.0
80.0
100.0
120.0
1972 1982 1992 2002 2012
Fig. 11 Gross enrolment ratio, tertiary education, selected countries
South Korea United Kingdom United States Australia Chile
Netherlands Iran Colombia China
Higher education enrolments as a share of the population
17
Another lens by which to show the geopolitical shift that is gradually taking place is to see the proportion of the population
that participates in higher education. Globally there were 1,255 students per 100,000 inhabitants in 1990, increasing to
1,625 by 2000 and then it continued to rise to 2,900 in 2015. In 2016, there was a slight decrease to 2,892 and it was the
second year in about twenty it declined. The other year in which there was a decline was in 2013 to 2,764 from 2,767 in
2012.
-
1,000
2,000
3,000
4,000
5,000
6,000
1999 2001 2003 2005 2007 2009 2011 2013 2015
Fig. 13 Student enrolments in higher education as a share of
population (per 100,000 inhabitants)
Arab States Central & Eastern Europe
Central Asia East Asia & the Pacific
Latin America & the Caribbean North America & Western Europe
South & West Asia Sub-Saharan Africa
On a regional basis, Central & East Europe had the highest participation for many years and has plateaued, while North America & Western
Europe regained standing in 2016 it had lost in recent years. Over the 10-year period between 2007 and 2016, the region that experienced the
greatest growth was South & West Asia which increased by 83% from 1,247 to 2,288 per 100,000 inhabitants, followed by East Asia & the
Pacific increasing by 41% from 2,162 in 2007 to 3,053 in 2016.
In 2016, the regions that had the greatest proportion of population in higher education (more than 4,000 students per 100,000 inhabitants) were
Central & Eastern Europe, North America & Western Europe and Latin America & the Caribbean, while Sub-Saharan Africa had the lowest (747
students per 100,000 inhabitants).
1,255
1,625
2,609
2,900 2,892
-
500
1,000
1,500
2,000
2,500
3,000
3,500
1990 2000 2010 2015 2016
Fig. 12 Number of students per 100,000 inhabitants
globally, 1990-2016
Source: Prepared by author, using data from UIS (2018) and UN (2017a)
Source: Prepared by author, using data from UIS (2018) and UN (2017a)
Mega systems of higher education
33 national systems with over 1 million enrolments
18
One of the outcomes in the ongoing expansion of higher education systems across borders is that there is an increasing
number of countries with national systems that are considerably large in scale.
China and India have over 30 million enrolments; followed by the United States (over 19 million), then Brazil with over 8
million enrolments. There are 17 countries which enrol between 2 million and 6 million students, which range from
Thailand, Colombia, Vietnam and the United Kingdom to Russian Federation, Indonesia and Turkey. Further, there are
12 countries with enrolments between 1 million and 2 million students which include South Africa, Chile, Spain and
Australia. In addition, there are 13 countries with a national system that goes from half a million to under a million
enrolments, which are Dominican Republic, Belgium, Netherlands and Morocco.
Another way in which this expansion of higher education is manifested is by the number of institutions globally.
Estimates vary on the number of institutions from 14,000 as recorded by the International Association of Universities
to over 20,000 as noted by Webometrics. In the United States alone, the number of HEIs has increased from 3,599 in
1990/91 to 4,583 in 2015/16 (NCES, 2018).
Table 3: Countries with greater than 1 million higher education enrolments
-2016 ('m)
Rank Country Enrolments Rank Country Enrolments Rank Country Enrolments
1China 43.9 12 Republic of
Korea 3.3 23 Australia 1.9
2India 32.4 13 Germany 3.0 24 Pakistan 1.9
3United States 19.5 14 Argentina 3.0 25 Italy 1.8
4Brazil 8.3 15 Egypt 2.8 26 Ukraine 1.7
5Russian
Federation 6.2 16 Bangladesh 2.7 27 Saudi Arabia 1.6
6Indonesia 6.1 17 France 2.4 28 Poland 1.6
7Turkey 6.1 18 Colombia 2.4 29 Nigeria 1.5
8Iran 4.3 19 United
Kingdom 2.3 30 Algeria 1.4
9Mexico 4.2 20 Viet Nam 2.3 31 Malaysia 1.3
10 Japan 3.8 21 Thailand 2.2 32 Chile 1.2
11 Philippines 3.6 22 Spain 2.0 33 South Africa 1.1
Source: UNESCO Institute for Statistics, data accessed on 27 March 2018
Section 3 Global population
forecasts
Highlights of world’s population estimates
19
Global population forecasts
The world’s population shifts Africa’s way by 2060
20
In 2015, the world’s total population stood at 7.4 billion
and is expected to increase to 8.9 billion by 2035. An extra
318 million persons are expected by 2040 for a total of 9.2
billion persons, according to forecasts from the UN
Department of Economic and Social Affairs.
Annual growth in the world’s population is slowing down
due to lower fertility rates which in turn lead to an older
population overall. The world’s population aged 60+ is
expected to increase form 12.3% in 2015 to 18.8% by 2040.
In addition, large movement of migrants continue to occur
between countries and across regions and often these
movements go from low-and middle-income countries to
high-income countries. Further, higher life expectancy is also
a factor to consider in development and population
forecasts, particularly the gap in life expectancy at birth
between the least developed countries and other developing
countries are progressively diminishing.
As a proportion of the world’s population, Sub-Saharan
Africa share is increasing, while there is a relative decline in
the overall population for East Asia & the Pacific and South
& West Asia. Figure 14 shows the estimated trajectory and
the point of intersection in share of population for these
regions. In 2015, 2.3 billion people lived in East Asia & the
Pacific followed by 1.8 billion people in South & West Asia
and 965 million people lived in Sub Saharan Africa. By 2060,
Sub-Saharan Africa will have the greatest share of the
world’s population followed by South & West Asia and then
East Asia & the Pacific.
0%
5%
10%
15%
20%
25%
30%
35%
2015 2020 2025 2030 2035 2040 2045 2050 2055 2060 2065 2070
Fig. 14 Share of the world population's estimates by region, 2015-2070
Africa Arab States Cen & East Europe
Central Asia East Asia & the Pacific Latin America & the Caribbean
North America & West Europe South & West Asia
Source: Prepared by author, using data from UN (2017a)
By 2040 , the world’s landscape is likely to feel vastly differently, particularly as a
result of the geopolitical shifts that have occurred as a consequence of demographic
changes but also due to technological transformation.
Fig 14 suggests that the population shifts Africa’s way by 2060. Progressively we will
be experiencing a variety of changes and the world order that prevailed 25 or 50
years earlier will be fondly remembered. Unless issues of inequality, resource scarcity
and climate change are addressed, such tensions will remain relevant and a driving
source of social discontent. It is likely that many countries that hold today economic
power will be weakened.
Global population forecasts cont’d
800 million people by 2040 is the eligible population for tertiary education
21
In 2015, there were 715 million people aged 18-23
globally. According to the UN population estimates, this
cohort population annual growth is projected to peak at
5% by 2030 and then it will continue to grow at a much-
reduced rate.
By 2040, it is projected there will be 800 million people
aged between 18 and 23. As a proportion of the overall
population, people aged 18 to 23 represented 9.7% in
2015 in contrast to 1985 when it represented 11.4%. The
population aged 18 to 23 has been decreasing since 1985
and it is expected that by 2030 it will represent 9.0%, 8.4%
in 2040 and 8.2% by 2050.
Figure 15 illustrates the decline in the population aged 18-
23 from South & West Asia and Latin America & the
Caribbean; the fluctuation over time in the same cohort
population from Arab States and Central Asia. Central &
East Europe and North America & Western Europe had the
lowest proportion of the population aged 18-23 in 2015
and are expected to remain with the lowest proportion by
2050 and beyond. East Asia & the Pacific, which had the
highest proportion of the population aged 18-23 in 1990
(12.6%) is expected to have the second lowest proportion
by 2050 (6.6%).
5.0%
6.0%
7.0%
8.0%
9.0%
10.0%
11.0%
12.0%
13.0%
2015 2020 2025 2030 2035 2040 2045 2050 2055 2060 2065 2070
Fig. 15 Share of the world's population 18-23 estimates by region, 2015-
2070
Africa Arab States
Cen & East Europe Central Asia
East Asia & the Pacific Latin America & the Caribbean
North America & West Europe South & West Asia
74% of the expected growth for the population aged 18-23 from 2015 to 2035
will be concentrated in ten countries (Angola, Democratic Republic of the
Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Uganda and Tanzania).
Eight of those countries are also remaining the world’s top population growth
countries for the 18-23 cohort population between 2015 and 2050. Egypt and
Kenya will be replaced by Iraq and Mozambique. However, in terms of the
overall population, 51% of the expected concentration of growth will be in ten
countries (China, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, India,
Indonesia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Tanzania and the United States).
The concentration of population growth both in terms of those aged 18-23 and
overall population is a key challenge to governments and universities globally in
how best to plan for the years ahead, address policy imperatives and fulfill
institutions’ mission in continuing to deliver tertiary education for the overall
population.
Source: Prepared by author, using data from UN (2017a)
Section 4 Enrolments forecasts to 2040
Highlights of higher education enrolment forecasts by world region (including
estimates of enrolments as a share of the overall population) and parting
thoughts
22
Projected enrolments
23
As noted in the introduction, the earlier forecasts of the expected number of students enrolled in higher education to 2035
published in 2012 were based on data from the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) which covered the period 1999 to 2009
(Calderon, 2012).
Since 2012, a number of development have occurred which makes a revision of the set of forecasts necessary. First the UIS has updated the
time series data and as at 1 April 2018 the data covers the period from 1999 to 2016. Secondly, there were new population estimates
released by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs in 2017 which are used to determine the proportion of the population
expected to participate in higher education to 2040. Thirdly, despite the lingering effects of the global financial crisis, there was a positive feel
back in 2012 on the global outlook for society and the economy. Fast forward to 2018, there are deepening concerns about the world’s
stability and rising geopolitical uncertainty in many countries worldwide and how it may impact on higher education.
Aside from demographic shifts, the projected enrolments presented in this section take into consideration a number of key drivers that are
influencing the global society and economy, such as:
Geopolitical shifts are altering the balance of power, the dynamics of trade (including educational services and the mobility of
people) and social norms. Consider, the continued rise of China (and flow on effects on trade and political influence across world
regions) and the rise of nationalism and populism in many countries are critical developments that come to mind in considering long
term enrolment forecasts.
The process of urbanization remains unabated. In 1950, 29.6% of the world’s population lived in urban centres. By 2000, 46.65% of
the world’s population lived in urban centres and the most urbanised world regions had more than 70% of its population living in
urban centres and by 2050, 66.4% of the world’s population will live in urban centres.
To the extent that urbanization has shaped the transformation of the world's economy over the past seventy years, the
technological revolution is equally having such an impact in changing the world's economy. Access to technology and the
transformation it has enabled has contributed to making education more accessible and affordable to those who seek it and less
costly for providers. Automation, artificial intelligence and every technological development are defining the global labour market
landscape and their overall societal impact is a work in progress.
24
Projected enrolments by region
Globally, the number of enrolments in higher education is expected to increase from 214.1 million in 2015 to 250.7 million
by 2020 and it is expected it will continue to rise to 377.4 million by 2030 and 594.1 million by 2040. On a regional basis:
East Asia & the Pacific is expected to remain the region with the
highest volume and share of enrolments, increasing to 148.8
million (39.4% share) by 2030 and 257.6 million (43.4% share) by
2040. The number of students per 100,000 inhabitants is expected
to rise from 3,009 in 2015 to 6,071 by 2030 and 10,438 by 2040,
being the region with the highest proportion globally.
Countries in the region are at varying stages of development.
Whilst there is significant improvement in participation, quality of
education and investment, there are many societal challenges
(e.g. gender and minority inclusion).
South & West Asia is expected to be the region with the second highest
volume of enrolments, increasing to 91.4 million by 2030 and then
increasing to 160.4 million by 2040 for a global share of 27.0%. The
number of students per 100,000 inhabitants is expected to rise from
2,315 in 2015 to 4,283 by 2030 and 7,023 by 2040, going from being
the region with the second lowest proportion in 2015 to being third
highest globally by 2040.
Again, countries in the region are at varying degrees of development
and with considerable disparities between each other. Compared to
East Asia & the Pacific, funding, quality of education and delivery
remains paramount challenges which may take some decades to reduce
the gap.
Source: Prepared by author, using data from UIS (2018) and UN (2017a); author
enrolment estimates for 2020-2040
Source: Prepared by author, using data from UIS (2018) and UN (2017a); author
enrolment estimates for 2020-2040
1,225 1,925 2,485 3,009 3,676
4,697
6,071
7,949
10,438
1,626
6,451
-
2,000
4,000
6,000
8,000
10,000
12,000
2000 2005 2010 2015 2020 2025 2030 2035 2040
Fig. 16 Number of students per 100,000 inhabitants in East
Asia & the Pacific, 2000-2040
East Asia & the Pacific World
837 1,014
1,669
2,315 2,724
3,405
4,283
5,456
7,023
1,626
6,451
-
1,000
2,000
3,000
4,000
5,000
6,000
7,000
8,000
2000 2005 2010 2015 2020 2025 2030 2035 2040
Fig. 17 Number of students per 100,000 inhabitants in South &
West Asia, 2000-2040
South & West Asia World
2015 2020 2025 2030 2035 2040
Enrolments ('mil)
69.4 87.2 113.6 148.8 196.0 257.6
World's share
32.4% 34.8% 37.2% 39.4% 41.6% 43.4%
2015 2020 2025 2030 2035 2040
Enrolments ('mil)
42.2 52.7 69.5 91.4 120.9 160.4
World's share
19.7% 21.0% 22.7% 24.2% 25.6% 27.0%
25
Projected enrolments by region -continued
Latin America & the Caribbean is expected to experience an
increase in enrolments from 25.3 million in 2015 to 36.7 million by
2030 and then rise to 65.6 million by 2040. The rate of growth in
enrolments from this region is likely to slow down from about 2025
due to population shifts and lower fertility rates. The number of
students per 100,000 inhabitants is expected to rise from 4,005 in
2015 to 6,186 by 2030 and 8,674 by 2040, going from being the third
highest region to being the second highest proportion globally by
2040.
Key challenges are: Improving quality of education and
competitiveness of institutions together with higher secondary
education completion rates and increased tertiary education
retention rates. Private provision is likely to remain strong over the
next 20 years.
North America & Western Europe is expected to further experience a
decline in its share of global enrolments from 17.5% in 2015 to 10.7%
by 2030 and 7.4% by 2040. Enrolments are expected to reach 40.6
million in 2030 and 43.7 million by 2040, in part growth in enrolments
is driven by international migration. The number of students per
100,000 inhabitants is expected to rise from 4,800 in 2015 to 4,864 by
2030 and 5,071 by 2040, going from being the region with the second
highest proportion in 2015 to being fifth highest globally by 2040. This
shift is explained by the decline in population.
Key challenges are: Improving pathway opportunities, lifting
participation rates from disadvantaged and minority groups as well as
lifting tertiary education completion rates and tuition affordability.
Further fragmentation of the sector is envisaged given the economic
and social instability that will hinder investment in tertiary education
Source: Prepared by author, using data from UIS (2018) and UN (2017a); author
enrolment estimates for 2020-2040
Source: Prepared by author, using data from UIS (2018) and UN (2017a); author
enrolment estimates for 2020-2040
2,183 2,866 3,625 4,005 4,572 5,294
6,186
7,303
8,674
1,626
6,451
-
2,000
4,000
6,000
8,000
10,000
2000 2005 2010 2015 2020 2025 2030 2035 2040
Fig. 18 Number of students per 100,000 inhabitants in Latin
America & the Caribbean, 2000-2040
Latin America & the Caribbean World
3,912
4,576 4,955 4,800 4,777 4,810 4,864 4,950 5,071
1,626
6,451
-
1,000
2,000
3,000
4,000
5,000
6,000
7,000
2000 2005 2010 2015 2020 2025 2030 2035 2040
Fig. 19 Number of students per 100,000 inhabitants in
North America & Western Europe, 2000-2040
North America & Western Europe World
2015 2020 2025 2030 2035 2040
Enrolments ('mil)
25.3 30.4 36.7 44.4 54.0 65.6
World's share
11.8% 12.1% 12.0% 11.8% 11.4% 11.0%
2015 2020 2025 2030 2035 2040
Enrolments ('mil)
37.5 38.3 39.4 40.6 42.1 43.7
World's share
17.5% 15.3% 12.9% 10.8% 8.9% 7.4%
26
Projected enrolments by region -continued
The Arab States region is expected to have a greater number of enrolments (22.3 million) by 2040 compared to Central & Eastern
Europe (20.5 million). Enrolments in Arab States are expected to double in number from 10.7 million in 2015 to 22.3 million by
2040, while the number of enrolments in Central & Eastern Europe are marginally increasing between 2015 and 2040 driven by a
declining overall population.
In the Arab States, the number of students per 100,000 inhabitants is expected to rise from 2,778 in 2015 to 3,350 by 2030 and
3,914 by 2040, going from being the region with the fifth highest proportion in 2015 to being sixth highest globally by 2040. There
are many challenges, e.g.: Widening opportunities for participation in education, building institutional capacity and quality of
delivery.
In Central & Eastern Europe, the number of students per 100,000 inhabitants is expected to rise from 4,712 in 2015 to 4,933 by
2030 and 5,367 by 2040, going from being the region with the highest proportion in 2015 to being fourth highest globally by 2040.
Key challenges are: Ageing and decreasing population limit scope for increased participation in education; new providers entering
the market and political instability is eroding attractiveness of the European higher education space.
Source: Prepared by author, using data from UIS (2018) and UN (2017a); author
enrolment estimates for 2020-2040
Source: Prepared by author, using data from UIS (2018) and UN (2017a); author
enrolment estimates for 2020-2040
1,848 2,252 2,527 2,778 2,912 3,109 3,350 3,620 3,914
1,626
6,451
-
1,000
2,000
3,000
4,000
5,000
6,000
7,000
2000 2005 2010 2015 2020 2025 2030 2035 2040
Fig. 20 Number of students per 100,000 inhabitants in Arab
States, 2000-2040
Arab States World
3,493
4,905
5,430
4,856 4,712 4,809 4,933 5,099 5,267
1,626
6,451
-
1,000
2,000
3,000
4,000
5,000
6,000
7,000
2000 2005 2010 2015 2020 2025 2030 2035 2040
Fig. 21 Number of students per 100,000 inhabitants in
Central & Eastern Europe, 2000-2040
Central & Eastern Europe World
2015 2020 2025 2030 2035 2040
Enrolments (mil)
10.7 12.3 14.3 16.7 19.3 22.3
World's share
5.0% 4.9% 4.7% 4.4% 4.1% 3.8%
2015 2020 2025 2030 2035 2040
Enrolments ('mil)
19.5 19.1 19.4 19.7 20.1 20.5
World's share
9.1% 7.6% 6.3% 5.2% 4.3% 3.5%
27
Projected enrolments by region -continued
Sub-Saharan Africa is expected to continue to experience strong growth
in enrolments as more and more countries in the region make advances
in strengthening their national systems of education and attain higher
completion rates in secondary education. Enrolments are expected to
increase from 7.4 million in 2015 to 8.8 million by 2030 and 21.7 million
by 2040. The number of students per 100,000 inhabitants is expected to
rise from 766 in 2015 to 964 by 2030 and 1,227 by 2040, remaining at
the bottom among all world regions from 2015 to 2040.
There are many significant challenges but key are: Inadequate funding
to support growth, access to education, quality of education and
institutional capacity. To the extent that governments and international
agencies support economic and societal development, the region will be
positioned to attain higher levels of participation and attainment.
Central Asia is expected to see a marginal increase in the overall
number of students enrolled in higher education from 2.1 million in
2015 to 2.2 million by 2040. The number of students per 100,000
inhabitants is expected to rise from 2,351 in 2015 to 2,131 by 2030
and 2,030 by 2040, going from being the region with the sixth highest
proportion in 2015 to being seventh highest globally by 2040.
There is limited scope for increased participation in education
because there is not a population growth, particularly in the 18-23 age
cohort, sufficient to maintain systems of education expanding.
2,032
2,685 2,631 2,351 2,205 2,131 2,083 2,053 2,030
1,626
6,451
-
1,000
2,000
3,000
4,000
5,000
6,000
7,000
2000 2005 2010 2015 2020 2025 2030 2035 2040
Fig. 23 Number of students per 100,000 inhabitants in Central
Asia, 2000-2040
Central Asia World
410 554 690 766 798 874 964 1,079 1,227
1,626
6,451
-
1,000
2,000
3,000
4,000
5,000
6,000
7,000
2000 2005 2010 2015 2020 2025 2030 2035 2040
Fig. 22 Number of students per 100,000 inhabitants in Sub-
Saharan Africa, 2000-2040
Sub-Saharan Africa World
Source: Prepared by author, using data from UIS (2018) and UN (2017a); author
enrolment estimates for 2020-2040
Source: Prepared by author, using data from UIS (2018) and UN (2017a); author
enrolment estimates for 2020-2040
2015 2020 2025 2030 2035 2040
Enrolments ('mil)
7.4 8.8 10.9 13.6 17.1 21.7
World's share
3.5% 3.5% 3.6% 3.6% 3.6% 3.7%
2015 2020 2025 2030 2035 2040
Enrolments ('mil)
2.1 2.1 2.1 2.1 2.2 2.2
World's share
1.0% 0.8% 0.7% 0.6% 0.5% 0.4%
Final thoughts
28
Summary
As noted in the 2012 edition of this paper, forecasting enrolments over along period of time is anumbers game; a spurious one indeed filled
with so many possibilities about the future.
Readers are encouraged to focus on understanding the trends, be equipped to handle the uncertainties and ambiguities that we experience
over time and determine the best possible path forward.This paper has drawn apicture of the continued massification of higher education
and has described the shifts that we are witnessing globally.The nature and intensity of such shifts will have profound implications in the way
higher education is planned, delivered, funded and quality assured across the globe.In particular decision makers need to recognise the
critical role education plays in addressing issues of inequality, social disadvantage and removing barriers for preserving social cohesiveness at
this time of global uncertainty and rapid technological transformation.
The transition from “mass” to “universal” systems of higher education means that the majority of the population in every country feels
entitled to (or at least contemplate the aspiration to) participate in higher education.While the opportunities for access are provided (often
in the form of scholarships and alternative forms of entry) for many students, ongoing academic and financial support is often missing, and
are key to higher completion rates.
The appetite for enrolments in higher education will remain as strong as foreshadowed to the extent that students are able to complete their
education, graduates are able to realise their career expectations as well as graduates maintain awage premium in the labor market and are
upwardly mobile.
Regional outlook
By 2035,countries from Sub-Saharan Africa are likely to become the sunrise markets for higher education.18 countries from this region will
be in the top 50 in terms of volume for the population aged 18 to 23.In addition, 32 of Sub-Saharan Africa countries will be in the world’s top
50 in terms of population growth for the 18 to 23 cohort.Countries from East Asia &the Pacific will continue to dominate in volume and are
likely to be mature markets.Countries from South &West Asia are likely to be sunshine markets by 2035/40.Countries from Central &
Eastern Europe, Central Asia are likely to remain flat markets.The growth that is likely to be seen in countries from North America &Western
Europe are likely to be driven by continued movement of persons.
More than ever before, the composition of the world’s population will shape the basis for the regional make up of those who participate in
higher education (and determine the movement of people across borders).Past 2040,the world’s population mix will likely feel different how
to manifest their higher education given the composition of the population that participates in education.
Forward estimates on population growth (both 18-23 cohort and overall population) suggest that by 2035-2040 the expected growth in
student enrolments in higher education will flatten in some countries in East Asia &the Pacific (e.g. China and Indonesia), Central &East
Europe (e.g. Russian Federation), Latin America &the Caribbean (e.g. Chile).Middle income countries are likely to be the new generators for
enrolments in higher education by 2040 and it may be the beginning of anew era in the geopolitics of higher education.
Appendix -About sources and method
29
For this analysis, the following datasets were used
Data on student enrolments in higher education (or tertiary education) for the period from 1999 to 2016 from the UNESCO Institute for
Statistics (UIS), which acts as the United Nations (UN) depository for global statistics in education. Data extracted on 27 March 2018.
Data on gross enrolment ratio (tertiary level, both sexes, percentage) was also downloaded from the UIS on 6 April 2018.
Data on population estimates from the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs. The data file refers to the total population (both sexes
combined) by broad age group, region, sub-region and country, 1950-2100 (thousands). The medium fertility variant from 2015 onwards. The
data file was released in June 2017 and downloaded on 10 October 2017.
The dataset on student enrolments used for the 2012 version of this report was based on the information available in March 2012 and covered the
period from 1999 to 2009. For this revised analysis, the data file downloaded on 6 April 2018 was used, meaning that the data points from 1999 to
2009 were discarded entirely.
On a number of ways the 2012 and 2018 editions differ:
Firstly, the 2018 analysis used updated data points which cover all period under consideration (1999 to 2016). It is not uncommon that data
points are updated from year to year as statutory authorities in every country and territory may review coverage of tertiary education
statistics.
Secondly, the 2018 edition uses additional years of data, which include the period from 2010 to 2016. As discussed in Section 1, observed
growth in enrolments by country and by region in recent years are somewhat weaker compared to the growth observed in the first decade of
the 21st century. The lingering effect of the global financial crisis is a key factor in what growth has been observed over recent years.
Thirdly, controlling for the share of the population that participates in education on a per capita basis has been a useful tool to observe
fluctuations over the years and has prompted further interrogation on external factors at play.
Fourth, the sentiment that prevails in 2018 is less upbeat that the one felt in 2012. Greater consideration was given to geopolitical factors
(without minimizing the significance of the major forces of change) and the degree of uncertainty these might have over the long term (either
regionally or on a country by country basis).
For every world region there are different growth rates forecasted. This is consistent with the trends observed over the past 20 years which vary
from country to country and from region to region. The forecast results were cross-checked and adjusted based on scanning the external
environment and considering the major forces of change.
References
30
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... Every year universities and higher education institutions enroll new students from diverse backgrounds [11], with 300 million students expected world wide in the year 2025 [12]. Within health professions, applications to study medicine and nursing have increased during the COVID-19 pandemic. ...
... This scoping review summarizes and collates research results focusing on development of academic literacies in health education with regards to methods and strategies, outcomes, and student experiences. Even though aspects of widening participation and inclusion in higher education have been debated for years, and considering the fact that increasing numbers of students from diverse backgrounds are expected [12], there does not seem to be consensus nor clear evidence as to which approaches or strategies higher education institutions should adopt. Many of the evaluated studies in this review are examples of initiatives from individual higher education institutions, where students were offered various alternatives with unclear results, and subsequently, potential for generalizability of findings is unclear. ...
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Background Universities enroll students from diverse backgrounds every year, with 300 million students expected in higher education by 2025. However, with widening participation, increasing numbers of students enrolling in higher health education and future health professions will be underprepared to meet demands of academic literacies, i.e. ability to read, interpret and critically evaluate academic texts and communicating the understanding verbally or in writing. The aim of this scoping review was to describe and explore methods and strategies to promote development of academic literacies. Results Thirty-one relevant studies were included and analyzed according to scoping review guidelines. The results showed four strategies: (1) integrating learning activities to develop academic literacies in the regular curriculum , (2) changing the course design with new methods for teaching and learning , (3) establish collaborations amongst academics and librarian faculty , and (4) adding courses or foundation year focusing on development of academic literacies . The results are discussed in light of the United Nations Agenda 2030 Sustainable Development, Goal 4, Quality Education, and widening participation. Conclusions Aspects of widening participation and inclusion in higher education have been debated, and increasing numbers of students from diverse backgrounds are expected to enter health studies in higher education. We encourage integration of teaching and learning activities targeting parallel learning of course materials and development of academic literacies, beyond study skills. Embracing epistemic complexity and diversity as well as choosing strategic work with academic literacies may provide a starting point toward realizing sustainable development goals and widening participation.
... Enrollment in higher education has steadily increased in virtually every country resulting in greater access to traditionally excluded students from higher education (Abdulla & Ridge, 2011). Calderon (2018), using data from UNESCO Institute for Statistics, reports that there were roughly 32.6 million students enrolled in higher education institutions in 1970 compared to 99.9 million in 2000 with an estimated 377.4 million in 2030. In the Arab states, enrollment in higher education doubled from 5.1 million in 2000 to 10.7 million in 2015 (UNESCO Institute for Statistics, 2018). ...
Article
UNESCO reports enrollment in higher education in the Arab and Gulf Cooperation Council region doubled from 5.1 million in 2000 to 10.7 million in 2015. Despite significant budgets and the world’s lowest teacher-to-student ratio, higher education in this region is plagued by student underachievement. This study identifies academic underachievement factors among undergraduate students at risk at a national university in the GCC. As part of the Intrusive Intervention Program, students were required to complete an Academic Success Plan that delineated academic, personal, social, career, and other academic underachievement reasons. Based on 5,040 students’ responses that indicated their academic underachievement causes, findings reported that students perceived academic factors as the most recurrent reason for academic underachievement. In contrast, social adjustment causes were found to be the least recurrent. Specific causes are reported under each category and discussion is provided against gender, nationality, major, and classification.
... La masificación es generalmente vista como la ampliación de la oferta de plazas en el sistema, como consecuencia del aumento de la demanda por educación y formación. Esta generalmente ocurre por el crecimiento de la población con educación secundaria completa, y por las demandas de sectores tradicionalmente excluidos, como los estratos medios, las mujeres o las minorías étnicas (Lee 2016;Calderón 2018). La expansión acelerada e inorgánica cambia la composición social del cuerpo estudiantil, haciendo a las universidades más fieles a los conflictos que ocurren "afuera", en la sociedad. ...
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Este ensayo tiene por objetivo principal ofrecer algunas reflexiones críticas para el estudio de lo que los estudiosos en la materia usualmente llamamos movimientos estudiantiles. El ensayo se compone de dos secciones. En la primera, reflexiono sobre las implicaciones que se derivan de usar el concepto “movimientos estudiantiles” para definir el campo de estudios, e invito a considerar el concepto alternativo de “política estudiantil”. En esa línea, sugiero considerar las dimensiones de representación, movilización y reproducción del actor estudiantil. En la segunda sección, me refiero a dos grandes áreas de investigación que pudieran ser abordadas para avanzar el conocimiento sobre el tema: las conexiones entre estado, capitalismo y universidad; y el acoplamiento (o desacoplamiento) del actor estudiantil, en tres planos: su conformación interna, con otros actores sociales y con el sistema de partidos. Las principales contribuciones de este ensayo consisten en la propuesta de una agenda de estudio sobre el tema, la que puede orientar futuras investigaciones, y en un balance crítico (aunque no exhaustivo) de la literatura, con un foco particular en Chile y algunas referencias a América Latina.
... Yükseköğretimde kaliteyi gerekli kılan nedenlerden ilki; araştırmanın "Problem Durumu" başlığında değinildiği üzere, günümüzde yükseköğrenime olan talebin artması, buna bağlı olarak üniversite sayısının ve öğrenci sayısının artması ve bunun sonucunda yükseköğretimde görülen niceliksel hızlı artışın, niteliksel anlamda birtakım endişelere yol açması olarak açıklanabilir (Altbach vd., 2009;Çetinsaya, 2014Çetinsaya, : Martin, 2008. Calderon (2018) Bu açıklamalarda görüldüğü üzere yükseköğretim kurumları gitgide nüfusun çok önemli bir bölümünü etkilemektedir. Yükseköğretim sadece arzu edilen bir kurum değil aynı zamanda ekonomik ve sosyal refah için bir gereklilik haline gelmiştir (Eaton, 2003a: 8 Yükseköğretimde kalitenin önem kazanmasına etki eden temel unsurlardan bir diğeri ise sayıları giderek artan üniversite sıralamalarıdır. ...
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The aim of this research is (i) to determine the quality standards that form the basis for the accreditation of the School of Foreign Languages (SFL) in universities, (ii) to determine the views of students and lecturers regarding the importance and implemantation level of these standards, and (iii) to develop a model proposal for the accreditation of SFL. In line with this purpose, this study consists of three main parts. In the first part of the study, Delphi technique was used. A questionnaire consisting of SFL quality standard proposals developed by the researcher was used as the data collection tool. Quantitative and qualitative data were obtained from 47 panelists in the first Delphi session and from 35 panelists in the second Delphi session regarding these standard proposals. In the analysis of the data, frequency distribution, median and quartiles were taken as consensus criteria. In the second part of the study, descriptive research method was used. Based on the stratified sampling method, universities in Turkey were divided into categories according to their URAP (University Ranking by Academic Performance) scores, and 638 students and 258 lecturers from SFL of universities in different categories participated in the research. Questionnaires consisting of simplified versions of SFL quality standards were used as data collection tools. Arithmetic mean, standard deviation, independent samples t-test and ANOVA were used for the analysis of data. In the third part of the study, Delphi technique was used. A questionnaire, consisting of accreditation model proposals for SFL, developed by the researcher was used as the data collection tool. Quantitative and qualitative data were obtained from 34 panelists in the first Delphi session and from 27 panelists in the second Delphi session regarding these items. In the analysis of the data, frequency distribution, median and quartiles were taken as consensus criteria. As a result of the first part of the research, 68 SFL national quality standards to be used in the accreditation of SFL were determined under 7 standard areas in line with the opinions, criticisms and suggestions of the panelists, taking into account national dynamics and based on very high consensus rates. It was seen that the national standards are largely compatible with international standards. As a result of the second part of the research, it was seen that all SFL quality standards were considered very important by students and instructors. It was seen that the instructors working in accredited institutions give more importance to SFL quality standards than the others. In addition, it was seen that the instructors found the standards of ‘performance evaluation, continuous improvement and quality culture’ to be relatively less important than other standards. Regarding the implementation level of quality standards in SFL, it was determined that out of 70 standard statements, only 6 were fully met, 51 were largely met, and 13 were partially met. Accordingly, it has been concluded that SFL have aspects open to improvement. In addition, according to the opinions of the instructors, it was observed that the level of implementation of the standards was higher in accredited SFL. As a result of the third part of the research, 73 items describing scheme and accreditation process guidelines of the national accreditation body that will accredit SFL were determined in line with the opinions, criticisms and suggestions of the panelists based on really high consensus rates. The suggestions developed within the scope of the research can be listed as follows; SFL quality standards determined in the first part of this research can be used in accreditation of SFL. It is also suggested that activities should be conducted to create culture of quality and continuous improvement among SFL instructors. Finally, the statements regarding the accreditation model determined in the third part of this research can be used for the establishment and organization of the national accreditation body.
... In addition, the majority of first authors of IJAC articles work in U.S.-affiliated universities. Because the worldwide enrollment in higher education institutions has more than doubled since 1995 (UNE-SCO, 2017) and global demand for higher education is expected to continue through 2040 (Calderon, 2018), IJAC should increase the journal's proportion of non-U.S.affiliated international authors to remain a leading journal for international consumption among counsellors and development of counselling practitioners around the world. ...
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Articles published in the International Journal for the Advancement of Counselling (IJAC) from 2000–2019 were analyzed for article content (e.g., research methodology, participants, research design, statistics used, reports of effect size) and author characteristics (e.g., gender, work setting, country of domicile, leading contributors) to determine trends in these characteristics over time. IJAC publishes more articles annually than any other counselling journal except the Journal of Counselling & Development. Kok-Mun Ng was the leading contributor scholar, and the University of British Columbia was the leading institutional contributor. Authors from the United States contributed more articles to IJAC than authors from the rest of the world. Fewer nonuniversity authors are publishing in IJAC now than 20 years ago. At the same time, more research-based articles are being published, at a rate of 68.3% from 2010–2019.
... As service provider organizations with unique characteristics, where students undergo selection processes and tests to enter and to obtain their professions, such changes as the internationalization of higher education (Milan, Eberle, Corso & Toni, 2015;Teeroovengadum, Nunkoo, Gronroos, Kamalanabhan, & Seebalyck, 2019), the rise of private universities (Alam, Parvin, & Roslan, 2020), and the decrease in Government funding for public universities (Breslauer, 2016) have increased the rivalry between these entities, leading them to worry about remaining competitive, mainly in the perception of potential candidates and students. And this rivalry should continue to intensify more and more, despite the expectation that the total number of students in higher education in the world will jump from 216 million in 2016 to more than 594 million in 2040 (Calderon, 2018). ...
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Objective to assess the quality perceived by students in the on-site undergraduate course in administration at a private university located in the city of São Paulo, using a new scale developed from the skills expected in the training of future administrators. Design/Methodology/Approach a 46-item questionnaire was developed and tested, with multivariate statistical techniques (exploratory factor analysis and Cronbach’s alpha). In total, 629 students participated in the study. Results the study identified four blocks of competences: managerial skills, problem solving, proactivity, communication, and creativity and techniques. In the global assessment of the quality of educational services, the institution achieved 76.19%, which indicates that the Administration course offered by the institution can be considered of good quality. The work delivers an instrument and an evaluation methodology that can be used to improve administration courses in the country. Originality/value the study is relevant when assessing the quality of higher education from a new scale based on the skills required to exercise the profession of an administrator defined by Resolution No. 4 of July 13th, 2005. Keywords: Higher education; competences; exploratory factor analysis
... According to the UNESCO report, the total number of students in higher education is expected to reach nearly 380 million by 2030, 472 million by 2035, and more than 595 million by 2040all up from roughly 216 million as of 2016. 5 The USA was the first country that experienced massification of higher education. The number of university students increased from 237.000 (1890) to 1, 11,727 (1910) Most of these massification changes in tertiary education occurred in particular in Asia countries, which expanded and modernized substantially their higher education institutions. ...
Article
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In the last decade of the 21 st century, young people under the age of 25, represent a significant portion of more than 40% of the world population and more than 25% of the total working age population. The current generation of young adults is very different from that of their parents: better educated, more diverse and with a different set of moral, social and economic values. There are over 1.8 billion young people under the age of 25 in the world today, 90% of these young people live in developing countries. In 2019, there were about 1.2 billion youth aged 15-24 years in the world, or 18% per cent of the global population. The global youth population demand free access to education at all levels, learning useful skills, good health, employment and gender equality. Young people can be a positive force for progressive development when provided with the knowledge and opportunities. Meanwhile, demand for higher education has exploded in recent decades. it is estimated that the number of tertiary education enrolment expected to be 214 million (2015) and in the next 25 years to approach 600 million (2040). The USA was the first country that experienced massification of higher education. Students increased from 1.5 million (1940) to more than 30 million in 2020. Similarly, European countries after 1945 witnessed an explosive growth of enrolment in universities with total from 2.3 million (1950) to 6.3 million in 1965. Also, higher education in China is in a massification stage. China in 2020 had 33 million undergraduate students enrolled in public colleges and universities (18.3 million studying for BSc, and 14.6 million students in more practically oriented university level short-cycle degree programmes). Also, Globalization accelerated the impact of expansion, role and educational structure of tertiary education institutions. Educational standards, research and development (R&D) and contributions to the real economy by universities have begun to change as well. International students (approx. 8 million) increased substantially beyond national borders, coordinating and standardizing university degrees and calendars, and collaborating both in research and in teaching practices. In the last decade educational experts agree that higher education institutions need to demonstrate innovative and challenging learning outcomes with new methodological approaches that provide useful technological and digital skills to their graduates. Some universities are starting to embrace innovative teaching methods that rely on the science of learning. Human brains do not learn only by only listening to lectures. Real learning relies on principles such as spaced learning, emotional learning, and the application of knowledge. Higher academic institutions are facing new challenges in providing interesting education standards and occupational skills in a digital era with advanced robotic engineering, artificial intelligence and internet of things. This review examines challenges and problems facing higher education institutions worldwide with particular emphasis in developing countries.
... The number of higher education students across the globe has risen from 99 million in 2000 to 216 million in 2016, a number that is forecasted to rise to 594 million by the year 2040. 2 The introduction of the Okanagan Charter 3 in 2015 detailed the importance of higher education settings for health promotion. Students are set to be future decision and policymakers, and be role models to others, therefore, they may be seen as a growing population of considerable importance for promoting a healthy diet and lifestyle. ...
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Background: During the transition from secondary school into higher education many lifelong health-related behaviors are established. Evidence suggests that unhealthy diet and lifestyle behaviors correlate, causing an increase in co-morbidities, affecting overall health. Objective: The aim of this review was to identify the relationship between dietary quality and lifestyle behaviors among higher education students. Methods: A systematic search was performed online, in accordance with PRISMA guidelines. Inclusion criteria were studies conducted among higher education students, dietary intake assessment and its association with a lifestyle behavior, use of validated tools, and published in English from 2000-2021. One researcher screened abstracts and two independently screened the full text of retrieved papers. One researcher extracted data in consultation with a second researcher. Risk of bias was assessed by the first author and two independent assessors. Results: Forty-five papers, from forty-five countries, with a total of 185,148 participants met the eligibility criteria. Causal relationships could not be established due to cross-sectional design of studies. Three dietary categories were used: i) total dietary intake, ii) dietary patterns, and iii) fruit and vegetable consumption. Lifestyle behaviors assessed were physical activity (PA), sleep, alcohol, and smoking. Twenty-one of twenty-four (88%) studies that assessed the relationship between PA and diet found a significant positive relationship. Six of ten (60%) papers that examined the relationship between sleep and diet found a significant positive association. Higher alcohol use was significantly associated with diet in five out of seven (71%) studies. Seven of eighteen (39%) studies that tested for an association between smoking status and diet found a significant relationship. Conclusions: There was evidence of a correlation between higher diet quality and both higher PA levels and lower alcohol consumption. Smoking status and sleep both had an inconclusive relationship with diet. Future research is needed to clarify these relationships inform healthy campus committees when planning services for students.
Article
The COVID‐19 pandemic calls into question the hosting of students as an urban growth formula after the spread of online education. Therefore, we look at Lodz, Poland, to understand how student cities operate during the pandemic and gain insights into their futures. We unfold the prepandemic and intrapandemic rhythms of students' presence and activities in Lodz's time‐space and their attitudes toward the postpandemic future. We show that the pandemic spurred many students to escape from Lodz and changed the activities of those staying in the city by limiting their frequencies and locations. However, we expect students to repopulate Lodz, although its postpandemic existence might evolve through further rhythm changes. Moreover, it will depend not only on the students' demand for higher education per se but also for collective consumption opportunities. Therefore, the pandemic itself does not seem to render the idea of a ‘student city’ obsolete in the long term.
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Contrary to many other areas, international and, in particular, European influences on national policymaking in higher education (HE) have remained limited. This picture, however, changed fundamentally from the late 1990s onward. In 1999, 29 countries signed the Bologna Declaration, denoting the start of the so-called Bologna Process. Thus, a collective supranational platform was developed to confront problem pressure, which has in turn fostered considerable domestic reforms. However, we still have limited knowledge on whether the Bologna Process has actually led to the convergence of national HE policies toward a common model. This article analyzes these questions by focusing on Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries. Because of its tumultuous and inconsistent path of development and the sheer magnitude of the current reform processes, CEE HE stands out as a particularly worthwhile object of analysis for scholars interested in policy convergence as well as policy legacies and path dependencies.
Chapter
This chapter seeks to reflect upon and update a set of concepts, first introduced over 30 years ago, regarding the transformation of higher education (Trow, 1973).1 The ideas of this original essay, as nicely summed up recently by British author Brennan (2004), illustrate three forms of higher education: (1) elite—shaping the mind and character of a ruling class, a preparation for elite roles; (2) mass—transmission of skills and preparation for a broader range of technical and economic elite roles; and (3) universal— adaptation of the “whole population” to rapid social and technological change. Table 1 provides a useful summary of these stages of higher education development.
Article
Also on CD-ROM (WOR 33): Follow-up to the World Conference on Higher Education [World Bank publications], 2003. Incl. bibl.
Massification continues to transform higher education
  • A Calderon
Calderon, A. 2012. Massification continues to transform higher education. University World News. Issue No. 237. Retrieved from http://www.universityworldnews.com/article.php?story=20120831155341147
120 Years of American Education: A Statistical Portrait
  • T Snyder
Snyder, T. 1993. 120 Years of American Education: A Statistical Portrait. Rep. U.S. Department of Education: National Center for Education Statistics.
Higher Education in Asia: Expanding out, expanding up. Montreal: UNESCO. United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division (2017a)
UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS). 2018. Education stats database. Retrieved from http://uis.unesco.org/ UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS). 2014. Higher Education in Asia: Expanding out, expanding up. Montreal: UNESCO. United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division (2017a). World Population Prospects: The 2017 Revision. United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division (2017b). World Population Prospects. Retrieved from https://www.un.org/development/desa/en/news/population/world-population-prospects-2017.html
Higher Education Reform in the Arab World
  • K Wilkens
Wilkens, K. 2011. Higher Education Reform in the Arab World. Saban Center at Brookings.
Higher Education in Developing Countries: Peril and Promise. Washington: The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development. World Trade Organization (WTO)
World Bank, 2000. Higher Education in Developing Countries: Peril and Promise. Washington: The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development. World Trade Organization (WTO). 2017. World Trade Report 2017. Trade, technology and jobs. Geneve.
World Trade Organization (WTO)
World Trade Organization (WTO). 2017. World Trade Report 2017. Trade, technology and jobs. Geneve.