World’s higher education is changing:
By the end of this decade, four out of every 10 of the world’s young graduates are going to come from just two countries – China and India.
The projection from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) shows a far-reaching shift in the balance of graduate numbers, with the rising Asian economies accelerating ahead of the United States and western Europe. The forecasts for the shape of the “global talent pool” in 2020 show China as rapidly expanding its graduate numbers – set to account for 29% of the world’s graduates aged between 25 and 34.
The biggest faller is going to be the United States – down to 11% – and for the first time pushed into third place, behind India.
I don’t believe in China’s higher education. I think it’s as much of a bubble as the Soviet education was and for the same reason. The Indian education, however, is hugely promising. All of my very best students at every university where I taught were from India. I don’t want to be stereotyping but I’m yet to meet a student from India who is not bizarrely good.
I hope our country realizes how important it is to invest in our own system of higher ed in the face of such impressive competition. Unless we want to turn into an intellectually insignificant backwards place that is completely dependent on others for ideas, research and technology, we need to stop looking at our universities as places that need to be squeezed for money and profits. We need to stop adjunctifying, scrimping, and cutting down on vitally important research needs.