Global higher education quality, migration and innovation

I have posted on global talent pool, and the role of the U.S. as a – the -premier concentration of higher education in the world, notwithstanding the rise in higher education in the developing nations, and the high production of STEM graduates in China. My postings include here, here and here. I refer to Australia’s higher education network as an export industry. Here is a projection of the number of college graduates in the world through 2050.

Now there is a comprehensive analysis of highed ed quality in the world.

Researchers here measured college graduate quality—the average human capital of a college’s graduates—for graduates from 2,800 colleges in 48 countries. The study reveals significant global disparities in college graduate quality, correlating higher quality with the wealth of nations. Richer countries boast higher quality college graduates, with a comparison between the U.S. and India indicating that top universities in wealthier nations produce graduates of 52% higher quality. Both relative and absolute rankings confirm this trend, highlighting the advantage of larger nations with more institutions. The implications of these findings are profound for understanding development dynamics, as the quality of college graduates plays a critical role in a nation’s human capital, affecting productivity, innovation, and economic growth.

Developed countries not only have higher average human capital among college graduates but also benefit from selective migration, amplifying disparities. The study underscores the importance of college graduate quality in accounting for cross-country income differences, suggesting that human capital variations significantly contribute to these discrepancies. Furthermore, higher quality graduates are more likely to engage in entrepreneurship, innovation, and executive roles, factors crucial for development.


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