|Improving Higher Education in Developing Countries (WB, 1993, 80 p.)|
|1. Report on the seminar|
Angela Ransom, Siew-Mun Khoo, Viswanathan Selvaratnam
Higher education (HE) has an important mission to generate new knowledge and prepare graduates for positions of leadership and responsibility in a rapidly changing and increasingly complex and competitive world. During the past three decades, higher education institutions in developing countries have witnessed a multifold increase in enrollments. Resources, both public and private, have not kept pace with escalating enrollments and costs. In many countries rising demand and enrollments, undifferentiated access policies, exclusive public funding, underutilization of professional staff, overly theoretical curricula, and inappropriate teaching methods have led to high unit costs, high dropout and repetition rates, low completion rates of graduates, and the production of graduates whose skills and specializations do not reflect those needed in the labor market. As a result, most higher education institutions in the developing countries are finding it difficult to generate and apply the knowledge needed to meet the rapidly changing requirements of scientific and technological innovation. Notwithstanding the general crisis in the quality and efficiency of HE in the developing countries, the conditions of HE vary significantly across geographical regions, both between countries in a single region and among institutions in the same country. This implies a rich variety of possible policy responses for improvement and innovation.
Given the serious challenges that confront higher education in many developing countries, planners, policymakers, and higher education leaders will need to justify expenditure on higher education in terms of its relative costs and benefits to society. To do so they will have to understand the critical issues and problems so that they can develop effective policy responses to achieve greater efficiency in the use of resources and to improve the social relevance of HE results. To provide credible and effective policy advice, policy reforms, and program assistance in this sector, the World Bank must sharpen its understanding and analysis of the technical, financial, and political issues the developing economies face in order to formulate a balanced strategy for future action. An essential element of success in this area is for the World Bank to involve the key actors in higher education in developing countries in its policy analysis and formulation process. This worldwide consultation meeting was intended as part of that process.
The seminar on Improvement and Innovation in Higher Education in Developing Countries was organized by the Economic Development Institute and the Education and Employment Division, Population and Human Resources Department of the World Bank, in collaboration with the Institute of Strategic and International Studies, Malaysia. Twenty-two participants attended from Eastern Europe and developing countries in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Latin America, and the Caribbean plus ten participants from Malaysia, nine resource persons, seven staff from the Institute of Strategic and International Studies, nine staff from the World Bank, and six observers from international and regional donor agencies (see appendix 1 for details).
The purposes of the seminar were as follows:
- To solicit comments on crucial issues raised in a series of papers analyzing important issues in higher education)
- To obtain information on countries' experiences in resolving problems in the HE sector,
- To widen the analysis and understanding of possible policy options for the World Bank's research and lending programs to sustain higher education development;
- To help the World Bank develop higher education policies better through sharing ideas and experiences across a wide range of countries.
This report summarizes the seminar's proceedings and presents recommendations for further analysis and research in subsequent regional meetings.
Higher education may mean different things to different people. However, the central point about HE is that unlike other forms of capital, it transcends mere economic returns. HE returns are the very substance of development and progress, and are difficult to quantify and compare with economic returns (Patel). A society that is educated and informed is better able to make fundamental decisions for itself. Education prepares people to make such decisions more objectively and provides the environment for social and cultural innovation.
In addition to satisfying inner aspirations and personal thirst for knowledge, the direct benefits of HE are very real. It enhances the quality of life, including individual dignity, self-respect, and command over one's own life, which are the true hallmarks of individual freedom (Patel). Even though HE will not necessarily reduce inequalities of income, if effectively provided it serves to narrow differentials in skills and knowledge, thereby opening up new horizons and opportunities to the recipients and giving them more choices.
HE also aims to provide a country with a pool of trained and skilled manpower to meet the labor market's ever-changing needs. Such a labor force has better absorptive capacity for technological changes and innovation, while informed entrepreneurs can make better use of resources. Both are essential to greater productivity and economic growth. It is only the technologically skilled who can exploit national resources efficiently. In the modern environment, scientific progress and innovation can effectively overcome many of the obstacles to development. Investment in human "sources in the form of education, particularly higher education, is part and parcel of a civilized existence, an end in itself, even as it is a means to other ends. Therefore, it is arguably the best form of investment for the future (Pate!).
The above assumptions are only viable if universities are effective. While teaching and research remain their primary concerns, their social and professional services to society are growing in significance. Great universities nurture mankind's highest ideals and defend them against all odds. Their effectiveness as social and economic catalysts is measured by their ability to achieve excellence.
In most developing countries the state has assumed the principal role in financing HE. Financing, whether public or private, has an impact on HE access, choice, and quality. However, where financing is public, the state can directly influence admissions policies, governance, institutional autonomy and accountability, and consequently the quality of teaching and research. This has given rise to various issues and problems. Countries have used free higher education and undifferentiated access policies to satisfy the goals of national development and to respond to the growing demand for HE. At the same time, competing claims for scarce resources make accommodating everyone impossible without standards deteriorating. Limited resources stemming from rising national debt and breakdowns in national economies have resulted in a decline in the quality of teaching and research; lack of maintenance of existing infrastructures; and inadequate libraries, equipment, and physical facilities. Thus, the financing of HE is a crucial issue. Countries must consider all available mechanisms and strategies for effective use of existing resources and for mobilizing additional resources for HE, including private sources.
Open access policies to HE in many countries have been aimed at achieving the dual goals of obtaining qualified manpower and social equity. The responsiveness of higher education institutions (HEIs) to skills needed in the labor market has suffered as a result. To cope with excess demand and to ensure that graduates' skills are relevant to the labor market's needs, access policies should reflect the diversity backgrounds and abilities. They should encourage institutions to adjust their objectives and programs to respond to this diversity' and to allocate students among fields of study and institutions according to ability and type of HE desired: traditional academic, vocational, short-cycle, distance learning, full-time or part-time, and so on. Encouraging a range of institutions with different objectives and clients will help relieve some of the pressures of excess demand and social equity objectives. Selection policies to promote institutional diversity will also help manage the tradeoffs between quality and quantity, efficiency and access for the disadvantaged, and social harmony.
In the face of such problems and shortages, the evaluation of teaching and research and accountability for funds become important. Education investments tend to be large, and many developing countries cannot sustain them. Therefore funds must be well managed and institutions efficiently run. Similarly, the effectiveness of faculty teaching and research output should be evaluated. At the same time, evaluation and accountability should be accompanied by increased autonomy to encourage institutions to be innovative and flexible in their pursuit of quality and excellence. However, many of the current policy problems in higher education have their roots in historical precedents, social traditions and values, and political imperatives. The authorities must address the underlying policies that affect funding, admissions, personnel, and regulatory decisions if the quality' efficiency, and effectiveness of HE a" to be enhanced.
The participants discussed quality issues under five main themes: (a) access to higher education, (b) financing of higher education, (c) the relationship between government and higher education institutions, (d) the role of higher education in developing science and technology, and (e) the role of evaluation (see appendix 3 for the seminar program).
In situations of excess demand for education, HEIs use access policies to select the most qualified candidates, to reduce overcrowding through rationing places according to specific criteria, and to give underrepresented or disadvantaged groups an equal opportunity.
The choice of access policies has implications for quality and efficiency. Inappropriate selection policies produce repetition, dropouts, and waste. To promote quality and the best use of resources, admissions policies must be fair and be based on candidates' merits and ability to benefit from higher education. Access policies must also encourage institutions to respond to the demand for different types of HE by different social and ability groups, and to recognize and react to labor market signals.
Financing policies determine how efficiently HEIs mobilize and use the available resources, the quality and effectiveness of their teaching and research programs, and their ability to increase training and research in productive sectors. The current situation in most developing countries of free or below cost higher education irrespective of private or societal returns produces inefficiencies and inequity. As competition for resources and demand for places increase, governments will not be able to subsidize all programs at a level that ensures their quality and effectiveness. Available resources will have to be invested where they produce the most cost-effective results in terms of teaching and research. In addition, HEIs will have to come up with strategies for reducing their exclusive reliance on public financing of higher education.
Relationship between Government and Higher Education Institutions
The objective of government involvement in higher education is to assure quality, maintain accountability for how HEIs spend public funds, and ensure the training of manpower to meet the country's economic development needs. The degree of government involvement in finance, admissions, and regulatory policies affects HEIs' quality, efficiency, and innovativeness. Considering the crucial role of the state in most HE systems in developing countries, government regulation must promote institutional autonomy, flexibility, and innovation to support improved quality.
The Role of Higher Education in Developing Science and Technology
Changes in international economic structures due to new development processes based on technology make it imperative for developing countries to build up their knowledge base in scientific and technological fields. The development and expansion of scientific and technological research capacity is essential for countries to participate in the increasingly market driven, interdependent global economy. With limited research funds, countries need viable national science and technology research policies to help set priorities, determine their comparative advantage, choose between different fields and disciplines, and foster links between university research and development (R&D) and that done by the private and public productive sectors in order to derive the full economic and social benefits of technological innovation.
The Role of Evaluation
Evaluation of HEIs is important for gauging and improving their overall performance, in particular, their achievements in instruction, research, and student learning. Evaluation is also important for accountability. Universities should be held accountable for their efforts and outcomes in terms of the costs and benefits of university programs. National governments and international funding bodies need to know how well universities use their physical and financial resources and how well they serve the labor market and economic development. Ongoing evaluation directed at the information needs of decisionmakers and administrators will improve the efficiency and effectiveness of universities.
The above themes cannot be considered in isolation. Each interacts with the others to influence quality. Furthermore, HE is but one of many sectors within a national economy, and therefore subject to influences and pressures from other national states. Thus, accreditation problems may have their roots in political dictates, and graduate unemployment may derive from factors other than the quality of the graduates themselves. Poor teaching may not be a result of poorly trained lecturers, but may be a consequence of their having to hold down multiple jobs out of economic necessity. This often results in a loss of skilled and trained manpower due to emigration. The developing countries will also have to address these problems if the quality of HE is to improve.
This section is divided according to the five main themes covered in the seminar: (i) access, (ii) financing, (iii) relationship between government and higher education institutions, (iv) the role of higher education in developing science and technology, and (v) the role of evaluation. Discussions consisted of indepth analysis of the major issues surrounding each of the five main themes, exchange of country experiences in addressing issues, and analysis of the implications of past experiences and lessons for future improvement policies.
Access to Higher Education
Developing countries' inability to satisfy the ever-increasing demand for higher education, the high costs of its provision, and the growing importance of the quality of graduates' knowledge and skills in determining future international economic competitiveness underlie the need for universities to have fair and efficient selection policies. The social and economic costs of poor selection are high. Governments typically finance 90 percent of the costs of a student's HE, but failure rates are high, ranging from 30 to 70 percent (Klitgaard). The social and economic benefits of a trained cadre are great: increased stability, productivity, competitiveness, and entrepreneurship. Selection criteria for an efficient, fair, and open system should satisfy the tenets of quality and equity by selecting the most able students without favoring those from a particular socioeconomic background, geographic area, or ethnic or linguistic group, and of efficiency by maximizing the quality of educational results per unit of cost, both in terms of the level of achievement and the desired mix of skills.
During the 1960s national economies were expanding rapidly. Countries made massive investments in education in response to the increasing demand for skilled manpower. Expansion and equality of access, particularly at the higher education level, were the watch-words in both the industrial and developing countries. The goals were to produce more, better educated men and women, and to break down traditional barriers to educational opportunity. As secondary schools opened up, many more students finished upper secondary school and reached the university entrance level. Until the early 1970s most countries had free access to anyone who could pass the national selection examination. Zimbabwe went from 500,000 students in university at independence to 3 million today; Brazil had a HE enrollment of 100,000 in the 1960s and today has about 100 million; in 1979 China had 1 million students enrolled in HEI but by 1988 that number had more than doubled; and in 1985 only 14,000 students were enrolled in university in Cameroon, but by 1991 that number had almost tripled. Western Europe achieved HE expansion by merging technical and teacher training colleges with traditional universities.
Contrary to expectations, the expanded access to education did not automatically ensure that countries turned out qualified manpower in the areas needed for sustained growth and development, nor did they achieve equality of access. In addition, standards of teaching, learning, and research suffered. Moreover, graduates' skills did not correspond to those required by the labor market for a number of reasons: the rapid expansion of enrollments while resources were stagnating or contracting; the politicization of staff and students; the wide variation in applicants' ability and preparation; and the poor quality of selection devices, which emphasized memorization rather than reasoning and problem solving, and effectively narrowed the material taught at lower levels of education. By the late 1970s many countries with previously open higher education systems were experimenting with different selection criteria to cope with rising demand, escalating costs, and declining standards.
A case study from the Philippines illustrates the inherent tensions between equity and quality in access policies. Before the 1970s, the University of the Philippines had a relatively open access policy based on secondary school grades. Concern about the diversity in the quality of preparation of students, the high failure rates (over 30 percent of students admitted did not pass their university course work), and the university's inability to admit all qualified secondary graduates under the open admissions policy as their numbers increased resulted in the introduction of a standardized College Admissions Test as an additional selection criterion. The test was designed to increase the university's ability to predict which applicants would successfully complete their university studies. Of those taking the test, the university admitted only the top 25 percent. The result was an overrepresentation of higher-income students from the' Manila area. To offset a possible test bias and eliminate the underrepresentation of low-income groups, in 1977-78 the university started an experimental selection policy to increase the number of students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds. Low-income students were admitted with lower test scores than the genera requirement for admission ant provided with academic counseling and remedial courses. The underlying assumption was that the admissions test underpredicted low-income students' ability to learn. However, despite remedial courses disadvantaged students not only had much lower graduation rates, but their general academic performance was much lower than their admission scores indicated. Thus, the university decided that the admissions test was not biased against low-income groups and abandoned the preferential admissions policy.
This case study raises a number of access policy issues, such as the objectives of selection; the costs and benefits of socioeconomic group representation; bias in academic and other measures; and the tradeoffs between quality, efficiency, and equity inherent in selection policies.
CONFLICTING OBJECTIVES. Admissions policies often have conflicting objectives and consequences. Social priorities and political pressures frequently influence selection objectives and policies, especially in situations where demand exceeds the number of places available. Universities must select the best minds for the future labor force, while at the same time making the best use of their resources and promoting social equity. Managing the tradeoffs among different policies is difficult and requires careful analysis of the social and economic objectives of selection and how they influence the quality of the intake of students, the quality of educational outcomes of HE graduates, and the graduates' relative success in the labor market. Malaysian HEIs face tension between access on merit and quotas to satisfy political pressure for social equity. National policies to secure university places for minorities resulted in the development of a second pre-university track running parallel to the normal route of access to university. The two-track system essentially means that universities have two ability groups. Preparatory and maintenance programs for the parallel track put more pressure on teaching staff and resources. However, national commitment to these policies is intended to maintain national growth, political stability, and equality of opportunity.
EXCESS DEMAND. The participants identified the following ways to handle the excess demand many countries face: (a) increase the number, variety, foci, goals, and admissions criteria of higher education institutions, for example, by using distance education, open universities, polytechnics, and shorter-cycle institutions linked more closely to employment; (b) introduce special entrance or aptitude tests for fields of study in high demand; (c) raise admission requirements, thereby reducing the number and increasing the quality of students; and (d) charge fees and have some form of scholarship and/or loan scheme available for poorer students.
STRUCTURAL DIVERSIFICATION. In Western Europe many countries with traditionally open access university systems have experimented with differentiated admissions policies to stimulate institutional diversity and greater labor market orientation. Institutions were given more autonomy in setting and applying admissions criteria and in awarding degrees and diplomas. The goal has been to encourage competition between institutions to stimulate the development of higher quality programs and to attract students and funding. Such an approach forces HEIs to define their objectives, market niche, and clients in light of their comparative advantage. It also encourages institutions to pay attention to labor market signals and demand in setting selection criteria for entrants and performance criteria for graduates.
In the United Kingdom structural diversification of HE has resulted in differentiation along the following lines: (a) high quality research universities that compete for public and private research grants according to past performance and the merit of current proposals; (b) high quality teaching institutions that offer strong academic training and scholarship; (c) short-cycle vocationally and market-oriented institutions that provide high quality teaching and research linked to the labor market; and (d) distance learning institutions that offer access to adults and geographically and educationally disadvantaged students (the Open University). Similar structural reforms to stimulate differentiation have occurred in France, Germany, Norway, and Sweden. Structural diversity has made it possible to expand access to HE, to respond to the demand for different types of HE by different social groups and consumers of HE, and to provide HE that recognizes and reacts to labor market signals.
Many developing countries have established vocationally-oriented institutions (China, Indonesia, Mexico), regional universities (Thailand), and private institutions (Brazil, Indonesia, Philippines) to deal with excess demand and to stimulate closer links with the labor market. China has had tremendous access problems: in 1979 China had over 7 million secondary school graduates, but the universities could accommodate only 670,000 students. To cope with this level of demand, China established 500 new universities in a five-year period and channeled 50 percent of secondary school graduates into vocational institutions designed to train mid-level technicians. To respond to demand pressures, Hungary, with only about 4 percent of the age cohort enrolled in universities, plans to increase fees to supplement government funds and introduce loans to offset costs to poor students. In Brazil the pressure of demand for HE is absorbed by private universities: 65 percent of higher education students are enrolled in private institutions. Enrollment in the elite public universities has been frozen at about 35 percent for the past ten years. The public non-fee-paying medical schools have 100 applicants per place. Such non-fee-paying schools cater to the better off, high performing students and lead to high profile careers. Paradoxically, poorer students pay for a private education of much lower quality that leads to low-income careers. By contrast, in Mexico excess demand is absorbed by a broad base of tertiary institutions of varying quality. There are twelve to fourteen universities at international standards, about twenty-five mass public institutions, plus polytechnics, technical colleges, and teachers' colleges. At the high end of the scale, private institutions predominate. These charge high fees, cater to about 13 percent of total demand, and have graduation rates of 89 percent, with 90 percent of graduates finding immediate employment. At the other end of the spectrum, 60 percent of graduates of open access public universities are unemployed, and the teaching staffs' low salaries and multiple jobs result in low research output. Thailand offers a model from which countries can draw useful lessons. It has responded to rising demand by establishing a large base of tertiary institutions throughout the country. An open university system siphons off excess demand, while a few superior flagship institutions maintain quality for national development. As each region in the country has its own institutions, preferential selection devices to ensure equitable representation is not a central issue.
SELECTION DEVICES. In many developing countries admissions tests may not be valid in predicting applicants' ability to benefit from higher education. Often a lack of staff qualified in assessment techniques and practices hampers the development of reliable measures of achievement and learning ability. In some countries primary and secondary schools lack the basic instructional resources to develop students to their full potential.
In Cameroon only 3 percent of students starting out in primary school reach university. Selection for HE is based on public examinations at the end of secondary school and access is open to all who pass the examination. Academic performance is usually poor. In the humanities and arts repetition is rampant, graduation rates low, and employment prospects dismal. However, enrollments in these fields continue to expand. The selection instrument in Cameroon does not correlate with educational or labor market outcomes. Rather, it is a convenient tool given limited resources and places, and the need to give all taxpayers' children a fair chance enter publicly-funded institutions.. Similarly, in Uganda the demand for university education continues to expand despite no assurance of employment and the lade of relevance of the studies offered. Young people have a better chance of finding employment if they attend a commercial or technical school, but such schools are students' third choice.
China uses its university selection examination to guarantee the quality of education and to make the best use of its resources. In the 1970s Chinese authorities replaced national examinations based on academic criteria with family background and political criteria. This policy crippled China's universities and slowed its economic growth for a decade. China reinstated the rigorous national academic examinations in the 1980s as part of its modernization effort. The current policy is to achieve a certain level of development through high quality education, and to address equity problems gradually. Some consideration on socioeconomic grounds is given to the autonomous region, which is combined with one extra year of study for graduation. In addition, regional quotas based on the best students from each province are used for flagship institutions like Beijing University.
In Malaysia a small HE sector has been equated with quality. HE spaces were restricted and selection policies were supposed to select the top performers to ensure that all students graduated. However, the concept of social equity took precedence over quality in the public sector, where national selection policies based on quotas superimposed on merit criteria were applied to redress perceived social injustice. In the private institutions selection is based on merit. As manpower needs continue to exceed what can be produced locally, the best students are sent overseas.
Zimbabwe tries to meet excess demand by expansion. However, universities are currently admitting only one out of four applicants (2,500 out of a pool of 10,000 per year). Applicants are admitted based on their grades. There are no selection policies to achieve equity and no evaluation of the adverse impacts of selection criteria. Policymakers believe there is no need for special allowances to ensure regional or gender representation (30 percent of applicants admitted in 1991 were female) as the applicant pool is homogenous, mostly from rural backgrounds.
BACKWASH EFFECT OF SELECTION POLICIES. Selection policies also influence what is taught at the lower levels of education. The rejection of large numbers of students due to limited places causes secondary schools to focus almost exclusively on teaching to the selection test rather than teaching the broad range of educational objectives prescribed in the curriculum. Unselected students often have no recourse to either further education or employment, which results in wastage of resources and human potential. In Hungary, where only 12 percent of the age cohort is enrolled in higher education, of which only one-third are enrolled in universities, the authorities have introduced a new policy that bases admission to university on secondary school work rather than on a one-shot test at the end of the cycle. The objective is to make what is taught in high school relevant for those who go on to university as well as for those who go on to other forms of training or employment.
REMEDIAL PROGRAMS. Unless disadvantaged students are provided with effective remedial programs, those receiving preferential admission will not benefit from higher education, resulting in the wastage of scarce resources. Moreover, preferential policies can undermine the credibility of the academic qualifications of disadvantaged groups and result in further discrimination. For example, in Uganda preference is give to females in HE. However, women already in the labor market feel that such policies lower their status in the labor market and cause employers to question their abilities.
LACK OF DATA. The quality of data and of analytical techniques needed to make rational choices on access policies relative to costs and benefits are often inadequate, and their implications for quality and efficiency poorly interpreted.
CONCERNS. Unequal access to HE often reflects deficiencies at lower levels of the education system. Preferential policies and remedial action at the university level may not be the most effective means of redressing inequalities arising from disparities in school quality because of geographical location; socioeconomic class; or ethnic, group, or gender differences.
If HE is to advance a population's knowledge and ability to innovate with the aim of achieving economic and social development, countries will have to address quality issues before further expansion occurs. If high quality applicants and successful academic performance are the priority objectives of selection policies, then care should be taken that selection instruments are valid predictors of ability to learn. Tests must measure reasoning and problem-solving skills rather than rote memorization. Preferential selection is politically acceptable if the effect on total places awarded is marginal and no real displacement of qualified candidates occurs. However, preferential selection must be accompanied by sustained instructional and remedial courses to help disadvantaged students reach the same level as other students. The authorities should take the duration and method of remedial instruction into account when evaluating the success of preferential selection policies. However, in the final analysis, equity is a political and philosophical issue. Each country will have to determine the appropriate balance between social equality goals and economic growth goals based on its particular situation.
International aid agencies can play a leading role in assisting countries in their efforts to improve selection policies by supporting country-level research on (a) assessing the meaning of examination results, (b) developing better performance-based measures of the outcomes of university training, and (c) developing analytical tools for understanding the consequences and managing the tradeoffs of alternative selection policies. Technical assistance could be used to upgrade the capacity of relevant personnel in admissions and testing techniques and practices. Given the diversity in country-conditions, donors should promote flexible, country-specific policies that use the universities as catalysts for change. They should avoid blanket policies based on general analysis of issues and problems.
Financing Higher Education
In many developing countries the central government funds national universities. In some countries, however, a system of private universities funded by different organizations (religious, professional) runs parallel to the public HEIs. So long as resources permit, problems may not arise, but most developing countries face grave constraints resulting from excess enrollment and scarce resources. In the face of growing excess demand, expecting the state to be able to continue increasing subsidies to the HE sector would be unrealistic. Such subsidies generally have their origins in social traditions, values, historical precedents, and political dictates rather than in efficiency and equity considerations. Under these circumstances, countries ate exploring different strategies to reduce or to shift the costs of maintaining HEIs from central funds to other sources of finance to ease the public burden. The objective is not only to mobilize new sources of funds to improve teaching and research, but to use existing resources more efficiently. The central issue is to define who should pay, how much, for what kinds of HE, and when such payments should be made. The seminar examined two types of financing mechanisms: (a) cost recovery through rationalizing subsidies to HE according to relative private and societal benefits, and (b) privatization of HE.
One way to recover costs is to introduce tuition fees in line with the benefits received from HE. The premise is that returns to HE comprise both private and societal benefits, therefore costs should also be borne proportionately by the individual and the state. Bigger subsidies should be given to those fields that produce greater societal benefits, while programs that produce essentially private benefits be paid for by students (Tan). This would be more equitable and would reduce the state's financial burden. Uncertainties in estimating in advance the magnitude of private benefits accruing from HE to an individual raises the issue of the optimum time to charge for these benefits. Some argue that charging for these benefits based on the actual rather than presumed benefits of education through differentiated tax and salary structures is more equitable and efficient, as one cannot effectively determine beforehand the size of private benefits.
Further research is necessary to determine how private and societal benefits vary in different fields of study and at different levels of higher education in specific country and institutional contexts. Further analysis of the tradeoffs between subsidizing education inputs through differential fee structures and grant schemes and charging for the outcomes of education through differential salary and tax structures is also needed.
Another financing mechanism is to promote private funding and provision of HE. The crucial issue here is to determine how much and what kind of privatization. An awareness of the evidence in favor of privatization as well as an understanding of the problems associated with privatization are needed to formulate sound policies about how much and what kind of private HE is desirable. Problems relate to the creation, financing, and performance of private HEIs (Levy). The rationale for creating private HE stems from the perceived failure of public institutions. Evidence of failure ranges from inadequate and declining resources, inefficient use of existing resources, poor quality of instruction, and low market value of degrees awarded, to public institutions' inability to meet the demand for increased access to higher education. Proponents of privatization promise that quality and efficiency can be achieved through greater and the right incentives: political and professional freedom, flexibility, and diversity.
Despite the arguments in favor of privatization, problems occur in creating, financing, and assessing the performance of private HEIs.
CREATION. Many of the problems associated with establishing private HEIs have historical roots. The prevailing postindependence development ideology stressed the state's overriding role. In many countries this resulted in legal sanctions against private higher education and the rise of state higher education systems that perpetuated and protected their political and professional power and interests against the encroachment of private institutions. In Malaysia private HEIs are prohibited by law, but they exist anyway, just as they do in Brazil and China. In other countries, such as the Philippines and Indonesia, private HEIs have flourished and now exceed public ones. However, their quality leaves much to be desired.
FINANCE. Many countries, private sectors are still not sufficiently developed to support private funding of HE. Furthermore, government policy does not provide incentives for the development of private philanthropy, and in many instances places outright restrictions on private contributions to HE. Consequently, most private universities in developing countries generate the bulk of their income from tuition fees. Some governments even regulate the level of these. Government assistance to private institutions tends to be rare and minimal. When such assistance does exist, it often breeds discontent and fear of competition for scarce resources among existing state institutions on the one hand, and fear of loss of autonomy among private universities on the other. Foreign assistance to HEIs in developing countries, has tended to be highly targeted to certain priority fields and does not always favor private institutions.
PERFORMANCE. The performance of private HEIs can be measured in terms of efficiency, quality, and equity. Assessments vary depending on whether the reference level is the institution, the sector, or the system (Levy). As institutions, private HEIs attract students and resources and award degrees that lead to employment of students in the fields they chose to offer. However, private HEIs tend to concentrate on fields that are less expensive to offer and neglect socially important areas. Their public counterparts are left to cover more, higher-cost fields of study, usually with students with more diverse academic backgrounds and abilities. Where state HE is the mass system, the quality tends to be superior in elite private institutions. In cases where private HE is the mass system, as in Brazil or the Philippines, state institutions receive the better educated candidates from elite, often private, secondary schools. The less well-off have to pay for an education of inferior quality in low status private institutions.
Efficiency measured in terms of utilization rates and student-staff ratios also vary. Low student-staff ratios may be good in terms of quality, but inefficient in terms of unit costs. Private institutions may also benefit from the facilities and faculties of public institutions, thereby reducing their overall unit costs and gaining efficiencies at the expense of the public system. As such, the performance of private institutions cannot be evaluated separately from public institutions, which they often complement or supplement. The performance of HE has to be measured taking into account the roles of both private and public institutions in the education system as a whole.
Participants recognized that in situations of excess demand for HE, governments will have to explore alternative sources of funding and provision. Discussions focused on the relationship between private and societal benefits of HE and the difficulty of assigning distinct values to each, as well as the equity implications of introducing user charges.
THE PREMISE. Most would agree that HE has both private and societal benefits. However, educators are less certain about the ability to estimate the size of direct personal benefits as distinct from societal benefits of "consuming" HE. Formulating policies based on these distinctions becomes problematic as no direct correlation exits between the volume of HE consumed and later wealth. Individuals' future earnings and benefits would be in doubt until they are able to succeed both in their scholastic endeavors and their careers. In assigning benefits, opportunity costs and risks in relation to the magnitude of rewards must be carefully considered for each individual.
UNCERTAINTIES. Difficulties also arise in establishing how much a person's private benefits are worth and the level of societal benefits generated. This is because even when entrepreneurs can use their educational input to create wealth for themselves, they are simultaneously creating wealth and employment for others (externalities) that must be taken into consideration. Just as people can gain from society's subsidies to them in providing them with HE, so does society benefit from their continuing to serve society as trained, skilled individuals. Even so, tax differentials to mitigate the private returns to higher education are already in place in many developing countries such as Zimbabwe. However, they need further rationalization and refinement.
INABILITY TO PAY. Real difficulties are encountered in situations where qualified students are unable to pay. This has implications both for developing manpower potential and equity issues. Assistance in the form of scholarships, bursaries, and grants can offset potential inequities provided they are sufficient for all who are in need and qualified to receive them. Some countries have tried loan schemes, but they have not worked in countries such as Brazil and Uganda, where administrative costs and default rates have been high. In other countries, Malaysia and Colombia, for example, scholarships combined with government service have worked well. Complete elimination of subsidies for private benefits may perpetuate inequities by excluding disadvantaged groups from certain fields of study.
PRIVATIZATION. Most participants felt that education is a public good, and that some state involvement is necessary. In addition, investing in human resources makes good economic sense as the state will reap dividends in many other ways: economic development, political maturity, and socialization processes (absorbing values, good work ethics, pluralism, patriotism, and so on). However, state involvement should not preclude the existence of private funding and provision. In situations of high demand and low resources governments need to be flexible in mobilizing alternative sources of funding and provision. At the other extreme, private HE should not be completely market driven and profit-oriented and compromise academic standards to commercial interests. Countries must decide on the right mix between public and private sector financing of HE based on their particular social and economic circumstances.
The participants thought that it is important to explore fee recovery schemes. The state should attempt to extract as much as is feasible. However, this is only part of many other strategies to expedite efficiency, for example, rigorous accounting, and reduction of waste and costs. Shifts in budgetary allocations, for example, from defense to education, could also be considered. Innovative joint ventures between the private and public and national and international university sectors might be another possibility. Different types of taxation, direct and indirect, might be levied, with the proceeds going to education. Reform of HE subsidies should be based on careful study and analysis. As situations differ from country to country, in-depth, country-specific studies must be undertaken to determine possible financing strategies. In the final analysis the total benefits to higher education (both private and public) may always exceed total costs. Once again, an individual country's context and priorities will determine the final balance between the two.
In many developing countries, government policies to provide free higher education, undifferentiated access, and job guarantees to HE graduates have led to high unit costs and dropout rates, low and longer completion rates of graduates, and imbalances between the number and types of graduates produced and the number and types of jobs available. In crisis situations governments and HEIs need to re-examine and renegotiate their relationship to improve quality and efficiency. The public administration literature describes two principal strategies of government regulation that are reflected in government/HEI relationships worldwide, and that affect the HEIs' ability to respond to changing social and economic realities, namely, the rational planning and control strategy and the self-regulation strategy (van Vught).
Government Regulation Strategies
The rational planning and control strategy has its roots in the ideal of rational decisionmaking, where all alternatives and consequences are considered. It implies centralization of the decisionmaking process and a large amount of control over both the choice of a given policy and its implementation. This strategy of government regulation is reflected in the state control model of HE systems. The state control model is traditionally found in continental Europe, where HEIs were created and almost exclusively financed by the state. The French HE system, for example, is characterized by centralized bureaucratic control exercised by the Ministry of Education. The Ministry of Education regulates access policies, curricula, degree requirements, the examination system, the appointment and remuneration of academic staff, and so on. The objective of detailed state regulation is to standardize degrees, which are often awarded by the state rather than the university. In the continental model, state control is combined with the strong authority of senior chaired professors, who hold considerable power at the lower level of the system. Thus, the HE power structure reflects the interests of two groups: state officials and senior professors. The HE power structure is characterized by a strong state at the top, weak institutional administration in the middle, and strong senior chairholders at the bottom. The state controls the appointment of chairholders and uses the HE system for its professional manpower needs in the government bureaucracy and the labor market, and for establishing legitimacy through detailed control (van Vught).
The self-regulation strategy recognizes that knowledge of the object of regulation is highly uncertain, emphasizes monitoring the feedback of critical variables, and assumes that fragmentation of complex decisionmaking processes offers the benefits of greater flexibility and innovativeness, and lower information, transaction, and administration costs. It emphasizes and respects the self-regulatory capacities and complex interrelations between decentralized decisionmaking units. External regulation is confined to monitoring and evaluating the performance of the overall system or the self-regulating decisionmaking units, and when appropriate changing the rules that define good performance. The self-regulation strategy corresponds to the state supervising model of higher education. It has its origins in the traditional British and in the U.S. higher education systems. Traditional British universities are chartered corporations combining the influence of faculty guilds with that of trustees and administrators (vice-chancellors). They are responsible for their own management and decide on admissions, curricula, and the hiring of faculty. Although the government funded HE (until the policy changes of the Thatcher government), budgetary allocation remained in the hands of senior professors in the University Grants Committee. In the United States HEIs are also established as chartered corporations, but the influence of institutional trustees (regents) and administrators (presidents) is stronger than in the United Kingdom. Trustees generally appoint the president, who has authority over strategic and financial policies. In the United States professors do not have the power of chairholders in continental universities, but the authority of the faculty is nevertheless substantial, especially in the academically stronger institutions. The government has hardly any power at the federal level. State-level regulation is confined to mechanisms for organizing quality assessment, regulating the right to award degrees, and assuring academic quality and accountability (van Vught).
Western European models of academic structure and governance were exported to developing countries during the colonial period. In British colonies the state supervising model was initially introduced. The power of national government was limited and the autonomy of the HEIs regarding enrollments, student selection, and staff appointments was respected. The imposition of the continental model of HE, especially the French model in parts of Africa and Asia, meant the introduction of the state control model, with a powerful national government, a centralized administrative system, civil service employment, and a standardization of diplomas and degrees. The HE models from Spain and Portugal that were introduced in Latin America implied the transfer of ties to both church and state. Because the crown wielded more power, a model of strong state control prevailed (van Vught).
Whichever model prevailed in a country during the colonial period, colonial authorities were very much concerned about the loyalty of the universities and their students and graduates, and made considerable efforts to ensure their loyalty and weed out dissident elements. Despite these controls colonial universities were sources of cultural, political, and intellectual ferment. University intellectuals were the key nationalist leaders of independence movements (Altbach 1989). After independence, nationalist leaders were concerned with establishing legitimacy and achieving national integration. Many newly independent governments used HEIs as instruments of national integration and development. State authorities decreed massive increases in student intakes and guaranteed employment to graduates at relatively high salaries without having adequate resources. The byproduct of the drive for national integration and development was elite, high-cost institutions and increased centralization and control. The state control model eventually supplanted the British state supervising model introduced during the colonial period (van Vught).
Given the situation of crisis in HE in developing countries, the central question is which of these two models is best suited to stimulate the changes needed to improve the quality and efficiency of HEIs ? The research evidence indicates that the state supervising model is more compatible with the fundamental characteristics of HEIs and the conditions necessary for successful innovation in HE systems. Western HE systems are characterized by the professional autonomy and authority of academic experts engaged in generating, conserving, transmitting, disseminating, and applying knowledge. In both the continental and British models, authority over teaching and research is traditionally located at the lower levels of the institution with the academic professionals. Fields of knowledge are the basic unit of attention in HE, and knowledge activities take place in autonomous cells loosely linked together into a system. Organizational fragmentation makes it possible to add and subtract fields of knowledge without disturbing others. This produces diversity among institutions and explains the adaptability of HEIs. Organizational fragmentation also explains why decisionmaking power is spread over a large number of units and actors. These characteristics suggest that complete control of HEIs from an external position is difficult without limiting organizational variety and severely restraining professional authority. Such external control would undermine the institutions' ability to perform their legitimate knowledge-related tasks.
The innovation literature indicates that the greater the formalization, centralization, stratification, and emphasis on efficiency (concern with costs or cost reduction) in an organization, the lower the rate of organizational change or innovation. Because HEIs are decentralized, informal, complex organizations whose professional ethos places a high premium on the quality of outputs, they favor the conditions necessary for innovation. However, these very characteristics make the spread of innovation between autonomous units and among institutions in the system more difficult. In nonhierarchical systems change cannot be decreed from above, but must be negotiated and sanctioned based on the perceived self-interests of those who will implement the innovation.
To succeed, reform policies should pay attention to the basic characteristics of HEIs. Historically, academic structures and regulations have evolved to protect the interests of teachers and researchers. Innovations that are at odds with these structures and accepted practice will be resisted. Government strategies to bring about innovations in HEIs succeed when they respect the basic values and mechanisms of academic life. When government-led innovations imply a radical departure from these, change should be limited to a few functional areas, while at the same time, other prevailing values and practices are safeguarded. External innovations are also more likely to succeed when the relative advantage of the innovation compared to current practice is dear to those who are suppose to accept it.
The state control model, which favors centralization and a large amount of control, is less successful at stimulating innovation in HE because its underlying assumptions are at odds with some of the fundamental characteristics of HEIs, such as the large degree of professional autonomy, the organizational fragmentation, and the diffusion of decisionmaking power. The model prevents a multiplicity of approaches and increases the likelihood of the arbitrary dictate and the large error. It also overlooks the costs of acquiring knowledge for the sake of creating innovations and fails to recognize that in a complex, multilevel system, general knowledge is usually more economically acquired by higher-level decisionmaking units, while specific knowledge is more easily and cheaply acquired by lower-level units. Rigid and detailed oversight procedures and hierarchical control often lead to unnecessary and unproductive bureaucratic systems removed from the knowledge advantages of lower-level decisionmaking units. Such systems can stifle innovative potential at this level. Furthermore, if power is in one place and better knowledge in another, the unit with knowledge can use it to evade, counteract, or redirect orders from superiors in the hierarchy. Decisions suffer as a result (van Vught).
The state supervising model is better suited to the context and fundamental characteristics of HEIs and can use these characteristics to stimulate change and innovation in the system. By limiting itself to global forms of steering and putting confidence in the self-regulatory capacities of the academic professionals and the basic units of HEIs, this model could be effective in achieving the objectives of HE in developing countries. It has the advantage of devolving the responsibility for deciding overall system objectives down to the level of the individual knowledge units. It also offers good conditions for an increase in the internal and external efficiency of HE systems in developing countries. The state supervising model addresses HEIs in terms of autonomy and accountability. It permits a large amount of autonomy for HEIs to determine their own goals and programs and the means to pursue these without government intrusion. In turn, it implies a supervising role for government to monitor the general rules within which HE systems operate and hold HEIs accountable to society for their efforts and results. Such an approach should stimulate individual HEIs to adjust their programs in response to local circumstances and changes in the labor market.
The two models of HE regulation were useful as a general framework for analysis. However, many participants felt that actual country situations cut across the two models presented. Existing HE systems in developing countries reflect the adaptation of transplanted Western academic models to changing political and economic circumstances. Some countries, in the interests of national integration and social representation, have established mass systems of uneven quality that strain available staff and facilities. Others have created high-cost, elitist systems with little diversity and differentiation between institutions or responsiveness to the labor market. Both have frequently resulted in distortions in the basic values and mechanisms of academic life in many HEIs. Particularly in instances where state control is extreme, it has tended to sap the initiative of HEIs and effectively prevented them from making any positive changes. In such instances, change occurs only when systems stall or collapse completely. However, where state control predominates, there are instances of innovative initiatives inspired by faculty educated abroad in more autonomous, market-responsive HE systems, or by international aid agencies like the World Bank (Kenya, Yemen, Malaysia). Moreover, economies like the Republic of Korea, Singapore, and Taiwan (China), where government steering has been strong, have produced high quality HEIs that have responded successfully to market needs.
ROLE OF GOVERNMENT REGULATION. Most participants recognized the advantages of the state supervising model in creating a context for change. The essential issue is how to move from government regulation that is a barrier to university development and limits HEIs' ability to innovate, to a form of regulation that promotes quality and efficiency. In other words, how does one strike a balance between government intervention and university autonomy. On the one hand, professionals in HEIs should have the autonomy to determine what to teach and what to do research on and how. On the other hand, autonomy without accountability for efforts and outcomes may make HEIs isolate themselves from the productive sectors and society's needs. For example, in Hungary, where student/staff ratios are low due to the small percentage of the relevant age group enrolled in HE, universities have refused to raise student/staff ratios in order to educate more students for the same costs for fear of compromising traditional standards of quality. In such instances external intervention may be necessary to steer universities toward greater efficiency..
Some form of regulation is necessary because government funding is crucial, and national development and responsiveness to society are important goals of HE in developing countries. Problems occur when the function of regulation is to restrict rather than to stimulate institutional flexibility and choice, when it is an agent of the status quo rather than an agent of positive change. Traditionally, governments assumed control over enrollments and admissions to create an indigenous civil service, but in the future governments will no longer be the major employer of HE graduates. An important goal of HE in the coming decades is training and research to promote and strengthen private development initiatives. The relationship between government and HEIs in terms of governance and finance will need to reflect these new goals.
The participants agreed that government regulation has tended to restrict HEIs' flexibility and innovative behavior. However, they acknowledged that government regulation can successfully support quality and efficiency by giving HEIs the autonomy to decide how to spend funds and what to teach accompanied by accountability for their level of performance and output.
In this context, a state/HEI partnership in which the state toes not interfere in areas of content and effectiveness of teaching and research as long as the university efficient ant responsive to society's needs seems appropriate. This implies that the government will allow HEIs to determine the goals, content, and standards of teaching and research, but will held them accountable for using the most cost-effective means of achieving these.
FORMULA FUNDING. The participants noted that the use of market mechanisms to encourage HEIs to produce graduates efficiently without sacrificing quality seemed worthy of further study in different country contexts. This implies that governments can redesign the HE funding system to influence HEIs' responsiveness to public needs and economic demand without much interference with institutional autonomy to allocate available funds freely.
Individual countries need to go beyond general frameworks and undertake in-depth studies to determine the actual mechanisms of state/HEI relationships and how these have evolved over time. Such analysis should adopt a multilevel approach to examine the system as a whole, the various institutions within the system, and the basic units. Based on the findings of these studies, countries should experiment with different strategies of government/HE governance and financing.
HE governance should also encourage differentiation. Diverse structures accommodate the conflicting tasks of HE better than simple ones, and by allowing status differentiation and sectoral diversification they also stimulate flexibility and innovation. The state supervising model offers the advantages of flexibility and innovation, of experimenting, and of self-determination and responsibility. In addition, its administrative costs are relatively low.
The Role of Higher Education in Science and Technology
In the past two decades technology has revolutionized economic products and processes. Linked to this is the growing importance of global markets to national economic development. Countries unable to cope with these advances will become increasingly marginalized, and their economies will either stagnate or decline. The intellectual skills of the labor force, especially in science and technology, has become the major determinant of economic productivity, innovation, and competitiveness.
Higher education has a pivotal role to play in training the labor force and generating the knowledge ant research necessary to create and use technology to meet society's needs. Higher education as it is currently organized and financed in developing countries is finding it increasingly difficult to assume this role. While access to technology is critical to development, the capacity to create and use science and technology is still a scarce resource and is extremely unevenly distributed throughout the world. Most developing countries are among the technologically poor, and face many problems in trying to improve their indigenous technological capabilities (Castells).
Many of the problems associated with HEIs in developing countries have their origins in the historical functions of universities and how these evolved over time. Historically, universities have essentially performed four functions: (a) forming and diffusing ideas and values, (b) selecting and socializing elites, (c) training the labor force, and (d) generating research (Castells). These functions are not mutually exclusive and co-exist in most universities, with their relative dominance shifting with economic, political, and social circumstances. The function of universities in developing countries has been to select elites, first for colonial administration, and after independence for the national civil service. The need for a technical work force led to increasing emphasis on labor training. With the accelerated pace of scientific and technological research in recent years and its key role in determining economic prospects, universities in developing countries are attempting to increase their level of training in the scientific and technical fields.
The general policy framework, institutional infrastructure, and incentive mechanisms of the higher education system have hampered efforts to make universities become the focus of technology transfer and indigenous technology development. Universities have been unable to manage the different, often conflicting, functions of disseminating ideas, preparing society's leaders, training the labor force, and generating new knowledge.
Higher education policies deeply rooted in concerns for preserving cultural identity and forging national unity have created a climate that does not encourage the independent and innovative thinking necessary for academic research. This has contributed to the brain drain of the best technically trained nationals of developing countries to the industrial countries, where the environment and conditions for advanced research are more favorable. This in turn adds to the scarcity of academic staff in the new technological fields in developing countries. Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan, for example, have highly qualified professionals worldwide, but they do not benefit their own countries because of the lack of the necessary infrastructure and incentives. By contrast, Korea has adopted science and technology policies designed to create incentives to bring expertise back to the country. Institutions are built and outfitted with the most advanced equipment to receive resuming technical personnel. As a result, from a country with no microtechnology industry in 1972, Korea became a leader in the microtechnology industry with the creation of the first 270K microchip in 1989 (Castells).
Another barrier to the development of indigenous science and technological capacity is inadequate teaching and training facilities. The lack of journals, reference materials, and laboratory facilities favor the lecture method of teaching, which is inappropriate for effective training in experimental science and the professional fields. Consequently, enrollment increases are still mainly in the traditional fields of the humanities and social sciences, which are less expensive and easier to teach using existing facilities.
Finally, the link between research and the productive sectors is weak or nonexistent in many developing countries. The labor market is unable to absorb the existing engineers and science graduates while, paradoxically, there are not enough skills in the general labor force to stimulate the creation of firms in the technology fields to generate more jobs in these areas. The development of the aeronautical engineering field in Brazil is an example of a successful link between research and industry. A strong engineering education in a high-quality HEI with strong links to international institutions such as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology produced the caliber of manpower to build up an aircraft industry.
These constraints point to the need for developing countries to adopt a concerted strategy to enhance the role of HEIs in generating and disseminating scientific and technological knowledge. Such a strategy must encourage collaboration and coordination between researchers in universities; public and private sector agencies; and organizations at the national, regional, and international levels. International aid must be directed toward developing the policy and institutional setting and training high-quality staff.
The development of human minds is primary and is a pre-condition for the development of the material infrastructure of technological change (Castells). Ensuring the quality of intake of students becomes all the more important. Alternative selection and recruitment policies will determine the quality of graduates produced; the level of knowledge and skills they attain; and their adaptability, creativity, and entrepreneurial skills. Such issues are an important dimension of the policy and institutional setting of HE, and will influence the pace and success of change and development.
The participants acknowledged the key role of universities in economic development and the need to enhance their capacity to carry out high-level postgraduate training and to create and disseminate advanced knowledge and research. At the same time, they recognized the importance of upgrading the general public's level of scientific knowledge by improving basic science teaching in the education system as a whole.
China is an example of a country that reoriented its HE system to promote basic and applied research in science and technology. After the Cultural Revolution, China realized that the old political and ideological functions of the universities had not brought about modernization. Between 1980 and 1985 China begin to rethink the role of higher education. A new emphasis on higher education and science and technology as the key to development emerged. The government launched a concerted effort to enhance the capacity of universities to carry out research linked to China's economic development needs. The leading national universities began to develop two types of staff: teaching faculty that spent 70 percent of their time teaching and 30 percent carrying out research, and research faculty who spent 70 percent of their time on research and 30 percent on teaching. University cooperation with industry and the National Academy of Sciences increased. The Chinese also realized that technology transfer meant more than acquiring technical hardware. It also meant developing the ideas, knowledge, and expertise to adapt and produce one's own technology. Thus, China sent students abroad to acquire knowledge and expertise. At first, training focused on basic science, and later on applied science and technology. To ensure that students returned to China after their training the government stipulated that the last year of study and the awarding of the degree had to take place in China.
The participants expressed concern about trying to live up to the U.S. model of research. At the higher education level in many developing countries, problems of inadequate resources and infrastructure and too few qualified personnel frequently cause competition for scarce resources between research and training. In such an environment the concept of centers of excellence or networks of universities become important as ways to pool resources among institutions to nurture both research and teaching. Examples of such centers are the International Institute of Insect Physiology and Ecology, the International Rice Research Institute, and the Coffee Research Institute. However, there are political and cultural barriers to regional collaboration and integration. Moreover, regional centers have not always lived up to expectations. They are frequently based on individual personalities rather than institutional capacity, the catchment area is usually too small for sustained progress, and they are difficult to maintain once donor funding or expatriate leadership ceases.
Lack of an entrepreneurial tradition, lack of an indigenous scientific culture, and weak or inappropriate government involvement in technology development add to the barriers against sustained research and development capacity in many countries. For example, during the 1960s and 1970s Makerere University in Uganda had developed a high level of research in agriculture and tropical medicine. A university teaching hospital and agriculture extension service linked research to national development. However, with prolonged political upheaval and the resulting failure of the economy, the university lost staff and became marginalized. In Malaysia research institutions and decisions on technology policy fall outside the university sector, while university research is more academically oriented. University staff have been involved in development planning and are just starting to become active in research related to economic development. Similarly, research institutions in Zimbabwe are outside the university sector. Universities produce the manpower to run such institutions. However, efforts are just beginning to develop a coordinated technology policy and strategy. In Mexico university involvement in planning economic development has been minimal and the universities are not preparing manpower with technological skills. This is being done at a lower level, usually by foreign-owned companies. Recently, new research institutes have been established to bridge the gap between universities and industry.
External factors, such as international terms of trade and patent and copyright laws, also restrict access to technologies. When new knowledge does not enter the public domain where it can be widely absorbed, resource-poor developing countries are at a disadvantage.
Countries need to formulate national science and technology development policies. Such policies would not only guide the choice between different fields of research according to need and/or comparative advantage, but would also help establish where basic and applied research could most effectively be carried out (at universities or other private or public institutions) and where to link up with international and regional networks. Sound planning and sustainable funding schemes should accompany the formulation of national policies and the identification of research needs and niches. In Indonesia, a joint United Nations Development Programme/United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization funded project is developing an information system to help decisionmakers and universities determine where to focus their research efforts.
Aid agencies should concentrate support and channel resources to selected centers or networks of excellence in large countries or regions, emphasizing the role of science and technology for national and regional economic needs. The United Nations University is already undertaking initiatives in this area by supporting the establishment of regional centers in important fields. An international center for software development is being set up in Macao for developing countries. Regional research centers exist for natural resources in Ghana and for mineral resources in Zambia that serve Africa, and for biotechnology in Venezuela that serves Latin America.
Twinning arrangements with institutions in developed countries is a model for the least developed countries. Uganda has such an arrangement with a U.S. university. Research is targeted to needs for development in specific areas and for a specified time frame.
Ultimately, each country will have to decide what is most feasible and sustainable given its particular economic and institutional context. More research on best practices with centers of excellence, regional networks, and twinning arrangements can inform such decisions. Where appropriate, donors can play the role of catalyst in fostering regional collaboration and integration by ensuring that successful practice is documented and widely disseminated.
The Role of Evaluation
The rapid expansion of higher education and its restructuring to meet the diversity in students' academic backgrounds and needs have increased concerns about maintaining quality standards and justifying resource use. This has led to the growing prominence of evaluating what universities do to guide future funding, development, and innovation policies. Evaluation is particularly important in the developing countries because of the rapid expansion and diversification of formerly elite systems, the need to do more with the same or fewer resources, and funding agencies' increased desire to know how well their investments are being used.
The evaluation of higher education in developing countries has been characterized by conflicting rationales and expectations, confusion over terminology and methodology, and mistrust about the purposes of evaluation results. In the absence of an evaluation tradition and capacity, universities in developing countries need some principles and guidelines for establishing appropriate evaluation policies.
Many terms have been used to denote the process of assessing the outcomes of institutions in relation to goals and the resources employed to achieve them, for example, accountability, evaluation, auditing, inspection, monitoring, and peer review. Evaluation of HEIs' academic quality to assess the caliber of instruction, research, and student achievement-usually done by academic peers and evaluation for accountability to assess HEIs' teaching and research programs in terms of costs and benefits-usually carried out by funding agencies-are common in HE. For evaluations to be effective they must not focus solely on results, outputs, outcomes, or impacts. They must consider inputs, the reason why certain outcomes occur, and how to improve future performance. Confusion over terminology prevails in environments (a) of uncertainty about how funds are spent and the quality of results achieved, (b) of mistrust about the purposes of evaluation, and (c) where those who commission the evaluation have more power over how its results are used than those conducting the evaluation or being evaluated. Evaluation should not be punitive or tied to changes in resource allocation. It should be an exercise that allows actors in institutions to learn from their mistakes and weaknesses to improve their future performance.
Most evaluations employ a mixture of information gathering methods. Currently countries of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) use four main methods, although they tend to overlap and distinctions are not always clear cut (Winkler). They include (a) direct measurement, for example, student achievement tests and observations of performance; (b) quantitative indicators linked to inputs, processes, and outcomes; (c) statements by those directly involved in the institution evaluated, namely, students, faculty, and administrators; and (d) statements of external experts or peers.
Direct measurement yields the most indisputable results, but it is time consuming and costly to develop and use the instruments. However, because the information that direct measurement provides is more acceptable when it is linked to specific activities (curricula or research, for example), it is also difficult to compare different activities.
Many educators favor indicators because the information they yield is supposedly based on objective and measurable data that can be presented in a short, aggregated form. The use of indicators employing similar statistical scales to measure different types of processes and outputs increases the comparability of the information gathered. Indicators are hampered by the inaccessibility of data and the tendency to select indicators based on the ease of access to data rather than the indicator's explanatory power in relation to the problem being analyzed. Indicators are most useful if they are closely related to the underlying quality or efficiency criteria being measured. However, they should not be used as the sole source of evaluation information. Their explanatory power is increased if used in conjunction with other methods.
Actors' statements allow a broad range of information to be gathered with less effort and fewer costs and ensures against bias through representative samples. The use of open-ended questions leaves room for unanticipated responses that could result in the refining of success criteria. Some people have criticized one type of instrument in this method, graduate surveys, for exaggerating the links between the education received and professional success in the workplace.
Statements by external experts is the most common evaluation method used in higher education worldwide. External experts are viewed as impartial, distinguished peers, which gives their findings weight. They can observe and analyze a broad spectrum of issues with more latitude and depth, in less time, and at lower cost than standardized procedures allow. However, they are often too subjective and base their judgments on their theoretical or ideological views rather than on rigorous analysis of the data.
Conventional approaches to evaluation may not allow for the university's need to be creative and to provide diverse programs of study in the pursuit of constantly evolving knowledge. Unlike business and industry, HE goals often cannot be clearly stated and consistently pursued. New evaluation approaches take into account the evolving nature of higher education in response to internal and external circumstances, and consequently the need to constantly redefine and revise the goals of HE. Such approaches emphasize the impact of personal interaction, mutual understanding, and actor participation in shaping and refining goals (Winkler).
Evaluation Principles for Developing Countries
In developing countries evaluation is often triggered by external funding. Externally sanctioned and imposed evaluation often leads to mistrust and political pressure to undermine the objectivity of evaluation results. Added to this is the lack of readily available information and the high cost of gathering information in relation to the operating expenses of the units to be evaluated. The absence of an evaluation tradition, combined with unfavorable conditions for extending and improving evaluation, point to the need for guiding principles to help developing countries formulate appropriate evaluation policies along the lines of the following (Winkler):
- Evaluation methods cannot be transferred unaltered from the OECD to developing countries. Evaluation policies and methods must take into account the economies' specific information needs and constraints. Four case studies (Chile, Nigeria, Taiwan (China), and Thailand) illustrate the type of analysis needed. This includes the historical development of HEIs; their mission; structures; sources of finance; the level of training and remuneration of faculty; and methods of controlling the quantity and quality of student intake and how these have evolved in response to changing political, economic, and social circumstances. In each of the cases, the tendency has been to move from traditional, elite HEIs with restricted access to expanded and/or more diversified institutions (regional, distance, and private institutions) of uneven quality. Expansion policies always sought to balance wider access with maintaining standards of quality. Ideally, evaluation nets should be cast widely to take into account such systemic factors that determine success or failure that may be far removed from the institution or program under evaluation. The need to limit costs should not preclude efforts to broaden the scope as much as feasible.
- Prior experiences and local attitudes about evaluation will determine the evaluation's content and method. Fear, mistrust, and resistance stemming from HEIs' prior experience with donors and their relationship with the government will have an impact on the utility of evaluation results. Local attitudes about the reliability and authority of information, who receives the evaluation information at various levels of authority, and incentives for ensuring the accuracy of data and using it to solve problems and improve the system will also affect the results' utility. To increase mutual trust and support for the evaluation process, and consequently the accuracy, reliability, and utility of the information collected, developing countries should develop a code of ethics about the methods of information collection and analysis and the use made of evaluation results.
- The cost of evaluation in many developing countries may be too high, especially when using difficult measurement instruments. Usually the shortcomings of institutions and programs are easily detectable using low-cost, less complicated, comprehensive expert review approaches. However, political pressures can undermine the authority of even acknowledged experts. This indicates a need for information from other sources to improve the reliability of results. The difficulty of gathering comparative data on key indicators of different programs and units may make statements from actors a more viable complementary evaluation approach in developing countries, especially as successful surveys of actors foster a high degree of cooperation between the various HE actors needed for evaluation to lead to improvement.
- The developing countries need to enlarge their evaluation capacity by training experts in evaluation and developing appropriate evaluation instruments.
The participants were primarily concerned with evaluation of "what," "by what purpose". Currently evaluations are top-down using elite U.S. schools as the model. Participants called into question the integrity and purpose of evaluations that do not take the university's mission, goals, and aspirations into account. Internally defined evaluation goals will determine the ease with which an evaluation culture based on mutual trust, acceptance, and consultative cooperation will develop. It will also determine the degree to which evaluation outcomes will be used to overcome weaknesses and improve performance. Indonesia and Chile link evaluation to positive incentives, such as a promise of additional funds for good performance or overcoming particular weaknesses and shortcomings.
Linking evaluation to goals and aspirations also helps to identify the appropriate evaluation approach, method, or instrument, for example, long-term, short-term, or continuous, internal or external approach, direct or indirect method. Ultimately approaches complement each other. A mix of approaches, though more costly in time and resources, increases the explanatory power and reliability of a single method and the utility of evaluation outcomes. Approaches and methods also evolve over time in response to HEIs' changing mission, structure, and funding sources.
Discussions focused on evaluation of how well funds are spent and evaluation of the quality of teaching and research. Evaluation of how well HE serves the labor market and economic development was noted as important, particularly by China and Yemen, but was not discussed in detail. Separating the different aspects of evaluation was not always possible as objectives and instruments quite often overlap. Countries practice a range of approaches. In Mexico HEIs practice self-evaluation and the results are not made public. In Zimbabwe the university and the government carry out comprehensive joint reviews, but there is no continuous follow-up. China has established an academic commission to carry out peer group performance reviews of institutions and programs that cover internal and external efficiency and the quality of academic work
Evaluation for Accountability
In countries such as China, where the HE sector is very large and expanding and external funding is used for assisting development, evaluation is crucial. Policymakers need to know whether government or donor funds are being used wisely. The results of evaluation can ensure better use of financial and physical resources and better matching of outcomes to national needs. Indonesia, with 44 national universities and 900 private institutions in a country spread over thousands of islands, is also concerned with accountability for how funds are spent. In Cameroon evaluation revealed that a student takes an average of eighteen years to finish a three-year program, that a four-year program to train medical interns costs US$ 300,000, and that some faculties have 130 staff for fifty students. Cameroon recognizes the utility of such information for planning and decisionmaking and is adopting ongoing institutional and program evaluation using common methodologies that permit comparisons among institutions and programs. At the other extreme, Uganda where more than 80 percent of the university budget is devoted to student housing and board while libraries go lacking, has created a "culture of inefficiency" that militates against evaluation.
Evaluation and Academic Quality
Evaluation of academic quality can determine whether a university has achieved its academic goals and reached the standards it has set for instruction, research, and student achievement. The participants agreed that evaluation of academic performance should be carried out by academics or peer review groups.
Once again they focused on the tradeoffs between excellence and equal access. Both principles are important and cannot always be accommodated. Elitist admission policies ensure quality output, which assures future national development. Equal access satisfies equity concerns and social imperatives such as harmony, unity, and stability, which also have implications for economic development. A compromise solution may be to require fairly good performance standards for admission overall, but more rigorous selection and screening for a few flagship institutions.
The quality of teaching and research staff is a major determinant of the quality of graduates and the research carried out and their eventual impact on the labor market and economic development. Quality can be encouraged by such measures as on-going, formal evaluation processes that could be linked to promotions and allocation of research grants. Built-in incentives of this sort must be consistently and fairly applied.
The problem of degree accreditation is very real in many developing countries. Nonrecognition of degrees prevents graduates from further studies at other centers of reaming and obstructs promotions and research efforts. While upgrading of quality is fundamental to this problem, the political aspects of the problem must also be recognized. Proper and objective evaluations are necessary to establish standards achieved and to ensure universal acceptance.
The participants expressed concern about who should carry out the evaluation to ensure its objectivity and credibility and that the results are directed at and will influence decisionmakers. They were uncertain about the scope of evaluation, whether it should be comprehensive or partial, and raised concerns about the type of information indicators can and should provide, and about the skills and expertise needed to design reliable, technically sound evaluation instruments. Finally, they voiced concern about how to coordinate the standards of evaluation procedures to permit comparisons between institutions.
Developing countries should strive to create an evaluation culture that is voluntary and is seen as a means of addressing problems. Nonconventional, participatory approaches that could facilitate the spread of such an evaluation culture and suit the emerging needs of HE in specific countries should be explored. The evaluation system should be practiced on a nationwide basis as in Mexico, where evaluation of public universities falls under the auspices of a national council for planning of higher education, and academic evaluation is by peer groups of subject specialists.
Donors can help fund studies to develop appropriate guidelines and instruments for evaluation and help to establish training activities to increase the number of local evaluation research experts in developing countries. For poorer HEIs funding agencies could supply basic infrastructure and facilities, upgrade laboratories, retrain teaching staff, and so on as a precondition to addressing evaluation issues.
Where foreign funding agencies undertake evaluation to determine whether aid should continue, existing internal assessments should be combined with external methods. Self-evaluation as part of the normal evaluation process will foster participatory approaches and will enhance the confidence and value placed on evaluation results.
Outcomes and Recommendations
In recent years the developing countries have questioned the World Bank's commitment to HE. This meeting provided an opportunity for World Bank staff to discuss and clarify their views on key issues in the HE sector with the principal actors and decisionmakers in HE in the developing countries. This candid exchange of views and experiences will form the basis for future cooperation and actions to improve the sector's quality.
The seminar revealed a diversity in countries' conditions, including their size, historical development, and level of and strategy toward economic development that has shaped the development, role, function, and the problems faced by their HE systems. Although many parallels in experience and needs emerged from the discussions, the seminar underscored the importance of in-depth, thematic, country and regional case and comparative studies in helping to define effective strategies for improving the quality of HE systems. The following sections group the issues discussed into those on which the participants generally agreed and those that generated controversy. However, two themes were not discussed in sufficient detail to identify key issues and isolate areas of consensus or divergence, namely, the structural diversification of HEIs and the relevance of HE to the labor market. The two are related and both have implications for access, financing, and regulatory policies. The existence of HEIs of different types, levels, and foci that offer courses of various lengths, makes it possible to absorb excess demand, channel applicants according to their academic preparation and ability, and link training to the labor market's different levels and needs more closely.
Discussion: Points of Consensus
Although all countries face problems connected with excess demand, financing, and management, the participants emphasized the diversity in country conditions, which implies a rich variety of possible policy options. Notwithstanding the variety of approaches and strategies possible, countries will need to address some common elements, such as more effective access policies and accountability and evaluation mechanisms; more integrated research, science, and technology policies; and more coordinated and targeted support, both internal and external, for higher education development.
Selection policies influence the quality of educational outcomes. Selection for quality is necessary if HE is to produce the types of graduates that will push forward the frontiers of knowledge and technological innovation. HEIs need to develop better criteria for assessing students' potential for benefiting from HE and better performance-based measures of the outcomes of university training.
The developing countries must address the problem of excess demand for HE. One way is to establish different types and levels of HE to serve applicants' diverse academic backgrounds and the needs of the labor market. Each country will have to determine the appropriate balance between selection for quality and for social equity. Donors can play a role by supporting countries' efforts to improve the quality of their educational data, techniques to analyze such data, and ability to manage the tradeoffs between selection for quality and for social representation.
Accountability and Evaluation
The participants agreed that evaluation for accountability of how resources are used and for the academic outcomes of HE is essential for monitoring and maintaining quality. They favored some combination of internal evaluation and external peer review as a means of fostering trust and confidence in the evaluation process and ensuring the accuracy and reliability of evaluation results and their usefulness in promoting positive change.
Science and Technology
During the last two decades, an explosion of knowledge and technology has led to a revolution in products and processes. Linked to this is the growing importance of international markets to national economic development. As the most effective engine for creating and disseminating information relating to research and technology, higher education has acquired global significance, with international quality standards for training and research. Nations that cannot raise their systems to international standards in these areas will find their prospects for economic development severely eroded.
Access to technology is increasingly crucial to development. Donor support through technical assistance could facilitate not only the transfer of specific technological processes, but more important, the knowledge and expertise to adapt and apply existing processes and to create new ones.
While institutions at all levels in the HE sector must improve their given the scarcity of resources, nations and the international community will have to target support to carefully identified key areas and institutions. While general frameworks are useful for analysis, aid and assistance should be based on current, relevant data and in-depth country case studies. Identifying the objectives of aid provides a focus against which to measure progress.
Targeted assistance could take many forms. Donors could sponsor specific projects (for example, through seminars, commissioned studies, or expert consultations), or provide assistance for specific processes (for example, establishing proper accounting, data gathering, monitoring, and evaluation procedures). Assistance could run the gamut from providing grants at the micro level (R&D allocation to individual scholars), supporting national centers of excellence, and strengthening regional networks, to facilitating international transfers of technology.
Discussion: Points of Controversy
The discussion centered on the relative role of public and private financing of HE, the effectiveness of student loans as a cost recovery mechanism, and the impact of centers of excellence and national or regional networks of HEI on "search output and quality.
The participants recognized the private and societal benefits of HE. However, distinctions between the two are not clear-cut enough to warrant them as unequivocal criteria for making allocation decisions. They called into question the efficacy of student loan systems as a means of shifting the burden of financing to the beneficiaries of HE. The administration of such schemes has not always contributed to cost recovery, and in many countries the cost of initial processing and the later high default rates have added to the public burden (Brazil, Uganda). The general consensus was that government still has an important role to play in financing and providing HE, but that the role and relative effectiveness of other funding sources should be explored. Ultimately, however, the issue is not whether the financing of HE is public or private, but the impact of the source of funding on access, choice, quality' and equity.
Research and Development
The relative effectiveness and efficiency of national and regional centers of excellence, networks, and twinning arrangements still need further study and clarification.
The discussions indicated a solid agenda for immediate research and future policy action and formulation. The following section breaks down the discussion by region.
AFRICA. The African HE sector is in crisis. During the last decade economic stagnation has reduced the resources available for HE. Foreign exchange shortages have curtailed purchases of instructional materials and equipment and undermined the maintenance of physical plants. The erosion of the purchasing power of staff salaries has caused many staff to seek employment elsewhere or to find outside jobs to supplement their incomes, thereby lowering the quality of teaching and research. The politicization of students has caused frequent disruptions and further undermined the quality of academic work. As a result, most African HEIs are unable to produce sufficient graduates with the skills necessary to make a meaningful and lasting contribution to the development process.
Issues of quality, equity, efficiency, and funding are problems many African HEIs face. However, given the huge size of the continent, conditions are too diverse and the problems too complicated to permit any generalizations. The content and approach of a regional follow-up seminar on increasing the effectiveness and efficiency of HE in Africa should take this diversity into account. Seminar preparation should begin with an in-depth diagnosis ant evaluation of the current situation-what exists, what is working, what is not working-in a sample of countries in such pressing areas as finance, access and equity, governance, curriculum and staff quality, enrollment ratios, library and other facilities, and the relationship between HE and unemployment and/or underemployment.
Country priorities and seminar topics should emerge from the diagnostic studies. Likely topics would include (a) financing) (b) equity and access; (c) university-state relationships to maximize autonomy and academia freedom; (d) capacity building to improve effectiveness and efficiency, including donor assistance and collaboration with HEIs in OECD countries; and (e) the possibilities for enabling African universities to become centers for national development, especially in science and technology, and for employment generation. The seminar should highlight examples of successes and failures, discuss lessons for the future, and take care to document a broad sample of experiences and models (including francophone and lusophone countries and South Africa). The seminar should also draw upon international experiences of successful reform and how these could be adapted and applied to the African context. The implementation of Castell's science tend technology model in various country contexts would be a useful case study.
The seminar should be geared toward the preparation of country action plans that identify country goals and priorities while taking into account political and cultural influences; identify constraints to achieving goals; and devise and operationalize appropriate strategies to overcome the constraints that eventually set out costs, potential funding sources, and a time frame for implementing improvements.
ASIA. Economic interdependence and rapid technological change characterize the Asia region. The region's HE systems have an important role to play in facilitating change and helping to integrate advanced training and research with shifting economic realities. Asia is also characterized by differences in levels of development and HE priorities and strategies between countries. Experiences with HE vary widely from more developed Thailand and Malaysia, to Indonesia, the Philippines, and Pakistan. Needs should be addressed based on each country's situation.
Nevertheless, some issues cut across differences in country conditions. The existence of historically disadvantaged and minority groups make equity, social group representation, and the quality of outcomes perennial concerns in most countries and color approaches to financing, governance, and access. Another common issue is what form vocational and technical education should take, where it should take place, and at what point in the educational cycle. Yet another is whether HEIs are producing graduates with the right mix of skills for national development.
Past development planning has been ad hoc. More systematic planning for development and innovation is needed. Research and evaluation should play a more important role in guiding actions in light of development goals. Funding for research is needed to develop new models to integrate public and private institutions to improve admission policies and curricula so that they take labor market conditions into account, and to develop to accommodate students with different academic abilities and preparation. These models should be linked to the development of evaluation strategies ant techniques to monitor, review, and direct reforms. External funding agencies should facilitate these efforts by providing financial and technical assistance.
The participants came up with a number of specific suggestions as follows;
- Measures to improve the quality of curricula and of instructional materials are paramount.
- Models should be developed to diversify the structure of HE. This will require research to help clarify policies ant approaches and to ensure that those approaches adopted will improve the efficiency and relevance of HE.
- Labor market analysis should be integrated into admissions and curriculum development policies. Such analysis should emphasize the growing importance of scientific knowledge and technological know-how.
- HEIs need to improve resource allocation and use and explore better strategies for recovering costs.
- To facilitate the foregoing actions, ongoing research and evaluation capacity needs to be strengthened and institutional incentive structures put in place in the areas of diversification of financing and institutional structures, management of change and innovation, labor market needs, and science and technology development.
THE MIDDLE EAST. In the Arab countries the increasingly difficult economic situation is caused by declining oil revenues and decreasing remittances from migrant labor in the region and in Western Europe, thus threatening the continued growth of the region's education systems. The flow of returning labor, which competes for scarce jobs or is not appropriately trained for those jobs that are available, together with high population growth rates, is placing additional demand on already strained education budgets. Governments are under pressure to use limited financial resources more efficiently. The HE sector, in particular, is on the defensive. Research Indicates that it is elitist and isolated; emphasizes success in examinations to enter university, which distorts and narrows what is taught and learned in secondary school; produces a supply of graduates and type of research that does not correspond to demand or to its cost to society; and has a scale and structure that results in persistent shortages of manpower in some priority fields and surpluses in others.
In this context, the most relevant issues to be addressed in the region are as follows:
- The increasing social demand for HE means that open versus selective access and mesa versus elite universities are pressing issues. Modern and more flexible methods of provision, such as open universities and distance learning, are attractive options for consideration.
- A number of issues need to be clarified and rationalized: the legal statue of universities, the role of government, and the effect of private sector and other sources of funding on universities' autonomy. Topics such as self-financing and cost recovery need further study and documentation to identify better practices.
- As concerns the management of universities, topics for investigation should include managing resources, physical infrastructure, libraries, and laboratories; developing staff and curricula to meet the labor market's needs; evaluating student outcomes and institutions; and improving accreditation.
- The participants advocated an expanded role for universities in providing integrated training, research, and extension services to the community and in promoting economic development and a commitment to society and the environment.
- The vision of the university is that of society's "brains trust," simultaneously a repository and generator of human knowledge and ideals. Such a vision favors the internationalization of the role of universities through professional exchanges, links, between countries at all levels of development. The sharing of successes and failures in areas of common concern would facilitate positive change.
LATIN AMERICA. The agenda for further work in HE in Latin America emphasizes how to maximize the use of existing scientific knowledge and technological capacity in an increasingly strained economic environment. In most of Latin America the basic human and physical infrastructure is already in place, but it is rapidly becoming obsolete. The participants identified four priority topics for a follow-up seminar to help educators in the region think through the available policy options as follows:
- The first priority is to increase advanced training, especially at the doctoral level, by establishing networks between institutions (Erasmus model).
- The second priority is to modernize and expand the current base of human and physical infrastructure, emphasizing equipment, teacher exchanges, and information networks between universities.
- The third priority is to strengthen linkages between HE and the productive sector through such mechanisms as providing risk capital for technology-intensive firms, initiating cooperative research between universities and industry, establishing research centers in firms, and creating technology parks.
- The fourth priority is strengthening institutional mechanisms in planning agencies, with special attention to implementing projects and linkages with the productive sector.
SMALL ISLAND STATES. The experience of universities operating in small island states answerable to more than a dozen governments is unique. The small size of their economies and their "islandness" (small-scale economies, populations, and political structures and often isolated landmasses) add to their special character. The specific nature and scope of universities in small island states means that they are under more pressure to establish external links, develop a critical mass of expertise, maintain professional and intellectual legitimacy, and devise mechanisms to avert pressures to compromise their legitimacy from specific client groups. The burden of being the catalyst for national and regional development is ever-present in institutions of this type.
A follow-up seminar for small island state universities should focus on closer examination of the following issues:
- The mayor issue is to achieve an adequate rate of expansion in relation to social demand and to assess its implications for faculty quality and deployment, and to examine the quality and scope of research programs and the quality and capacity of physical and research facilities. This is particularly important as the mission of universities in small island states has evolved along the lines of Castell's model (diffusion of ideas, formation of elites, training of manpower, and advanced research), changing and shifting emphasis partly in response to the pressures for expanding access.
- A general preoccupation is how to maintain entry standards in the context of expansion. Approaches to consider are structural differentiation; training of trainee to overcome weaknesses, especially in the fields of mathematics and science; setting standards based on internationally accepted norms; and defining guidelines for special concessions for historically disadvantaged groups.
- Critical concerns with respect to governance are how to determine the moat effective balance between state and university administrative authorities and, within HE, how to determine the relevance of curricula, the appropriate balance between teaching and research and between basic and applied research, and how to advance the role of the university in national development, especially in science and technology.
- As concerns efficiency, the dilemma is to maintain efficient use of resources while maintaining qualitative objectives. Efficiency issues will have to be addressed at the policy level through admissions and finance policies (coat recovery, privatization) and at the operational level through evaluation mechanisms, networks, regional centers, and use of new information technologies and delivery systems.
- Questions about financing concern who should pay (students, government, private sector, external donors), for what training and research, through what type of mechanism (loans, grants), and at what point in time.