More graduates = more progress

Publish date 08-08-2023

by Sandro Calvani

It is certainly good news for all peoples both those who favor brain immigration, because they understand its advantages, and those who discourage migrations, but at least manage to encourage their own growth in the number of graduates.

In Europe, only Romania has a lower percentage of graduates than Italy out of the total adult population (17.8%), while the best governed countries have double or triple, for example 36, 5% in Spain, and 45.2% in Ireland. More young people with higher education does not only mean greater competence in policies for the development and strengthening of university systems, but also less room for populism based on widespread ignorance. Where international students increase, thanks to courses taught in foreign languages, so do budgets spent on education, estimated at a global total of $433 billion by 2030, for foreign students alone, more than double pre-pandemic budgets ( about 200 billion dollars).

The growth of foreign students in the world goes from five million in 2019 to as many as eight million students studying abroad by 2030, which will be added to local graduates, while three out of four of the world's graduates they will be in Africa and Asia. Asia, which has more university graduates than the rest of the world combined, will double its lead. The most common strategy envisages a rapid adaptation of universities to the demands of the new economy, with maximum flexibility of the courses offered. This transformation involves the emergence of new types of degrees, notably shorter and more flexible qualifications and even micro-degrees targeting specific sectors; closer integration of higher education, skills and work; new dimensions of cross-border competition, including a greater emphasis on transnational education or distance learning delivery; and finally the standardization of multi-channel learning, with an expanding range of delivery modes and student work experiences integrated into curricula. Thanks to these innovative measures, Japan has exceeded 50% of graduates out of the total adult population (43% in Australia), but also smaller economies than Italy, such as Singapore and Thailand have exceeded 27% of graduates and Korea South reached 51.7%, three times Italy.
(Source of data and graphs: HolonIQ).

Sandro Calvani
NP May 2023

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