A new publication: Higher education and the formation of developmental elites
Does higher education have a role in promoting the emergence of developmental leaders and elites? For 30 years or more – and especially since the announcement of the MDGs – the international development community and national governments alike have favoured investment in primary education over higher education, while the quality of higher education in many developing countries still leaves much to be desired. Though there are good reasons for investment in primary education, was it a mistake to do so at the expense of higher education? Could higher education play a vital role in germinating a pool of people with the capacity and vision to constitute progressive development leadership across the public and private sectors? And does higher education contribute to the formation of networks that facilitate the emergence of developmental coalitions and hence address critical collective action problems?
As the first step in a longer program of work, a new research paper by Susy Ndaruhutse, Laura Lewis and Laura Brannelly, commissioned by the DLP, surveys the literature on this question. It also offers a preliminary data analysis which maps higher education gross enrolment rates against a set of governance indicators. It finds a generally positive correlation, though no causal inferences are drawn at this stage. In the next phase, a more intensive analysis will be undertaken to explore this complex relationship in a number of countries and see whether it is possible to draw any useful inferences which might make policy-makers think again.
Download the paper here:
Laura Brannelly, Laura Lewis & Susy Ndaruhutse (2011) "Higher Education and the Formation of Developmental Elites: A literature review and preliminary data analysis" Research Paper 10, The Developmental Leadership Program.