Higher Education and the Developing World
- LAST MODIFIED: 27 July 2016
- DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199756810-0154
- LAST MODIFIED: 27 July 2016
- DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199756810-0154
Higher education in the developing world is a subsection of the larger topic of international issues in higher education (see Oxford Bibliographies in Education “International Issues in Higher Education”). Higher education has become a global sector with extensive cross-border interactions, including flows of students, education providers, and even policy frameworks. The intersection between higher education and international development flows in both directions of influence. In some cases, the international development arena has influenced higher education (particularly in developing countries) and, in other cases, higher education is designed to play a role in development goals, such as reducing poverty and promoting social and economic growth. The question of how to explore higher education in the developing world begins with the notion of what constitutes developing. The first section of this article explores definitions of development and the global forces that shape those definitions. This opening section includes ideological and theoretical anchors that help to articulate arguments for and against the particulars of development in practice. A second section explores the biggest actors on the global development stage—International Organizations (IOs). These organizations include development banks, multilateral and unilateral aid agencies, and government and nongovernment organizations that operate with goals that include promoting poverty reduction, economic growth, social progress, and other attributes considered to be essential to a functioning nation-state. Behind the large-scale endeavors of IOs are a host of issues that have created the history of development and facilitated the interaction of nation-states based on power and wealth differences. These issues include the categorization of indigenous knowledge, colonial endeavors, and notions of social and economic progress. Included in the article is a list of regional reports that relate to the issue of development, primarily focused on Southeast Asia, sub-Saharan Africa, and portions of Central America and South America. The concluding section provides a reference guide to major journals that cover topics related to the issue of higher education in the developing world.
There are multiple ways to measure the well-being of a nation-state, but the Human Development Index (HDI) is a standard method in terms of ranking nations based on criteria such as infant mortality, lifespan, and other key categories (United Nations Development Programme 2015). The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) produces a Human Development Report, which outlines the key themes related to well-being and stratification (United Nations Development Programme 2014). Beyond categorization is the contested notion of development. Theory and ideology drive at least two anchors in defining development. On one side are works such as Sachs 2006, which advocate that a series of corrective actions related to wealthy country engagement and application of new knowledge in developing country settings can lead to a serious reduction in poverty. On another side are works such as Easterly 2007 and Easterly 2015, which advocate that development is a relatively new scheme that was not employed as the world’s wealthiest economies came into power. The most essential ingredient in creating the right conditions for development is human rights, which often gets overlooked as benefactors, technocrats, and dictators distribute humanitarian and development aid. In between the two polar anchors are Banerjee and Duflo 2012 and Sen 2000, both of which offer an important approach to understanding the nuances of development. Focusing more directly on higher education are Marginson 2011, which draws attention to the role of universities and public good, and McCowan and Unterhalter 2015, which constitutes a comprehensive work on education in general.
Banerjee, Abhijit, and Esther Duflo. 2012. Poor economics: A radical rethinking of the way to fight global poverty. New York: Public Affairs.
Describes and critiques several primary models for resolving global poverty with recommendations to better observe and assess the true needs of those in poverty to develop real resolution-oriented policies.
Easterly, William. 2007. The white man’s burden. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.
Critiques attempts by governments in developed countries to reduce global poverty through repetition of colonial philosophy with new labels, structures, and expected outcomes.
Easterly, William. 2015. Tyranny of experts. New York: Basic Books.
Proposes a new model for international leaders to improve global poverty that focuses on the development of the freedom and mutual respect of individuals rather than continuing historically based failed models.
Grant, Emma, Ilona Blue, and Trudy Harpham. 2000. Social exclusion: A review and assessment of its relevance to developing countries. Journal of Developing Societies 16.2: 201.
Reviews definitions and factors related to social exclusion; the authors propose that this concept constitutes an emphasized component of European development policy that is beginning to be applied toward developing countries as social capital, household welfare, and human capital influences (highlighted in Harpman’s model) determine the social and structural needs of a country.
Marginson, Simon. 2011. Higher education and public good. Higher Education Quarterly 65.4: 411–433.
Defines potential public good and public goods outcomes of higher education within the context as economic market, status ranking and competition field, and globally networked and egalitarian identity.
McCowan, Tristan, and Elaine Unterhalter, eds. 2015. Education and international development: An introduction. London: Bloomsbury Academic.
Offers diverse reflections on the intersections between educational needs and human resources development, including detailed overviews for primary theories, current challenges, and inspiring initiatives for supporting children’s right to a meaningful education.
McGrath, Simon, and Qing Gu, eds. 2016. Routledge handbook of international education and development. Abingdon, UK: Routledge.
Integrates primary voices in international research to identify the key debates and research topics influencing decisions regarding general education, higher education, and global collaboration.
Sachs, Jeffrey D. 2006. The end of poverty. New York: Penguin.
Develops a multifaceted framework for improving the economic and social conditions for the world’s poorest individuals based on visits to one hundred countries and observations regarding needed infrastructure and utilization of human capital to change the developmental direction and speed of these nations.
Sen, Amartya. 2000. Development as freedom. New York: Random House.
Proposes the need for individual freedom to significantly impact the global economic framework through analysis of diverse cultural and political systems that inhibit or promote critical public support programs, such as higher education and basic health care, which allow for citizens’ self-actualization.
United Nations Development Programme. 2014. Sustaining human progress: Reducing vulnerabilities and building resilience. Human Development Report [HDR]. New York: United Nations Development Programme.
An annual report from the UNDP about the latest trends in human development.
United Nations Development Programme. 2015. Human development statistical tables. Human Development Index [HDI]. New York: United Nations Development Programme.
An annually compiled index that ranks countries based on fixed criteria that indicate levels of human development.
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content on this page. Please subscribe or login.
- Academic Achievement
- Academic Audit for Universities
- Academic Freedom and Tenure in the United States
- Action Research in Education
- Adjuncts in Higher Education in the United States
- Administrator Preparation
- Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate Courses
- African American Racial Identity and Learning
- Alternative Certification Programs for Educators
- Alternative Schools
- American Indian Education
- Art Education
- Assessing School Leader Effectiveness
- Assessment, Behavioral
- Assessment, Educational
- Assessment in Early Childhood Education
- Athletics, College
- Augmented Reality in Education
- Beginning-Teacher Induction
- Bilingual Education and Bilingualism
- Blended Learning
- Case Study in Education Research
- Changing Professional and Academic Identities
- Character Education
- Children’s and Young Adult Literature
- Children's Beliefs about Intelligence
- Children's Rights in Early Childhood Education
- Civic and Social Engagement of Higher Education
- Classroom Management
- College Admissions in the United States
- Community Relations
- Comparative Education
- Computer-Based Testing
- Counseling in Schools
- Critical Race Theory
- Crossborder and Transnational Higher Education
- Culturally Responsive Leadership
- Culturally Responsive Pedagogies
- Culturally Responsive Teacher Education in the United Stat...
- Curriculum Design
- Data Collection in Educational Research
- Data-driven Decision Making in the United States
- Deaf Education
- Desegregation and Integration
- Development, Moral
- Digital Age Teacher, The
- Digital Divides
- Distance Learning
- Distributed Leadership
- Doctoral Education and Training
- Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) in Denmark
- Early Childhood Education and Development in Mexico
- Early Childhood Education in Australia
- Early Childhood Education in China
- Early Childhood Education in Europe
- Early Childhood Education in Sub-Saharan Africa
- Early Childhood Education in Sweden
- Early Childhood Education Pedagogy
- Early Childhood Education Policy
- Early Childhood Education, The Arts in
- Early Childhood Mathematics
- Early Childhood Science
- Early Childhood Teacher Education
- Early Childhood Teachers in Aotearoa New Zealand
- Early Years Professionalism and Professionalization Polici...
- Economics of Education
- Education For Children with Autism
- Education Leadership, Empirical Perspectives in
- Education of Native Hawaiian Students
- Education Reform and School Change
- Educational Statistics for Longitudinal Research
- Emotional and Behavioral Disorders
- Epistemic Beliefs
- Equity, Ethnicity, Diversity, and Excellence in Education
- Ethics and Education
- Ethics of Teaching
- Ethnic Studies
- Evidence-Based Communication Assessment and Intervention
- Family and Community Partnerships in Education
- Family Day Care
- Federal Government Programs and Issues
- Finance, Education
- Financial Aid
- Formative Assessment
- Gender and Achievement
- Gifted Education
- Global Mindedness and Global Citizenship Education
- Global University Rankings
- Governance, Education
- Grounded Theory
- Growth of Effective Mental Health Services in Schools in t...
- Higher Education and Globalization
- Higher Education and the Developing World
- Higher Education Faculty Characteristics and Trends in the...
- Higher Education Governance
- Higher Education Graduate Outcomes and Destinations
- Higher Education in China
- Higher Education in Latin America
- Higher Education in the United States, Historical Evolutio...
- Higher Education, International Issues in
- Higher Education Management
- Higher Education Policy
- Higher Education Research
- Higher Education Student Assessment
- High-stakes Testing
- History of Education in the United States
- Inclusive Education
- Indigenous Education in a Global Context
- Inservice Teacher Education
- Integrating Art across the Curriculum
- Intensive Interventions for Children and Adolescents with ...
- Intersectionality and Education
- Knowledge Development in Early Childhood
- Leadership Development, Coaching and Feedback for
- Leadership Training
- Learning Difficulties
- Learning, Lifelong
- Learning, Multimedia
- Learning Strategies
- Legal Matters and Education Law
- LGBT Youth in Schools
- Linguistic Diversity
- Linguistically Inclusive Pedagogy
- Literacy Development and Language Acquisition
- Literacy, Multiple Documents
- Literature Reviews
- Mathematics Instruction and Interventions for Students wit...
- Mathematics Teacher Education
- Measurement in Education in the United States
- Meta-Analysis and Research Synthesis in Education
- Methodologies for Conducting Education Research
- Mindfulness, Learning, and Education
- Mixed Methods Research
- Multivariate Research Methodology
- Museums, Education, and Curriculum
- Music Education
- Narrative Research in Education
- Numeracy Education
- Online Education
- Organizing for Continuous Improvement in Education
- Pedagogy of Teacher Education, A
- Performance Objectives and Measurement
- Performance-based Research Assessment in Higher Education
- Performance-based Research Funding
- Phenomenology in Educational Research
- Philosophy of Education
- Physical Education
- Podcasts in Education
- Politics of Education
- Portable Technology for Special Education
- Pre-Service Teacher Education
- Problem Solving
- Productivity and Higher Education
- Professional Development
- Professional Learning Communities
- Program Evaluation
- Programs and Services for Students with Emotional or Behav...
- Psychology Learning and Teaching
- Psychometric Issues in the Assessment of English Language ...
- Qualitative Data Analysis Techniques
- Qualitative Research Design
- Quantitative Research Designs in Educational Research
- Race and Affirmative Action in Higher Education
- Reading Education
- Refugee and New Immigrant Learners
- Reliability in Educational Assessments
- Religion in Elementary and Secondary Education in the Unit...
- Researcher Development and Skills Training within the Cont...
- Response to Intervention
- Restorative Practices
- School Accreditation
- School Choice
- School Culture
- School Improvement through Inclusive Education
- School Reform
- Schools, Private and Independent
- School-Wide Positive Behavior Support
- Science Education
- Secondary to Postsecondary Transition Issues
- Self-Regulated Learning
- Self-Study of Teacher Education Practices
- Severe Disabilities
- Single Salary Schedule
- Single-sex Education
- Single-Subject Research Design
- Social Context of Education
- Social Justice
- Social Network Analysis
- Social Pedagogy
- Social Science and Education Research
- Social Studies Education
- Sociology of Education
- Standards-Based Education
- Statistical Assumptions
- Student Access, Equity, and Diversity in Higher Education
- Student Assignment Policy
- Student Engagement in Tertiary Education
- Student Participation
- Student Voice in Teacher Development
- Teacher Evaluation and Teacher Effectiveness
- Teacher Preparation
- Teacher Training and Development
- Teacher Unions and Associations
- Teacher-Student Relationships
- Teaching Critical Thinking
- Technologies, Teaching, and Learning in Higher Education
- Technology Education in Early Childhood
- Technology, Educational
- Technology-based Assessment
- The Bologna Process
- The Regulation of Standards in Higher Education
- Theories of Educational Leadership
- Three Conceptions of Literacy: Media, Narrative, and Gamin...
- Tracking and Detracking
- Transitions in Early Childhood Education
- University Faculty Roles and Responsibilities in the Unite...
- Using Ethnography in Educational Research
- Value of Higher Education for Students and Other Stakehold...
- Vocational and Technical Education
- Wellness and Well-Being in Education
- Women's and Gender Studies