Higher education and leadership for development in the Philippines

This two-page policy brief is based on research in the Philippines that explored the role of higher education in the emergence of leaders who promote development. 

Interviewees reported that while tertiary education had given them expertise and status, their desire to use their knowledge to promote reform often arose from their experience of social problems before, during or after higher education. All saw their education as significant, but they believed extra-curricular activities – such as leading student councils, running student newspapers, or being involved in social outreach work or political activism – had played a much larger role than formal teaching and learning in their development as reform leaders.

This brief draws three key messages from the findings.

  • Higher education policy and practice should look beyond technical skills and knowledge and consider important capacities – such as leadership skills – that extra-curricular activities provide.
  • The networks leaders formed during higher education, particularly with people from outside their usual circles of acquaintance, have made it possible for them to gain broad support for complex reforms.
  • More equitable access to higher education in the Philippines would be promoted by widening the participation of disadvantaged students in the most prestigious universities, and by ensuring quality beyond ‘elite’ institutions.

About DLP

The Developmental Leadership Program (DLP) is an international research initiative that explores how leadership, power and political processes drive or block successful development.

DLP focuses on the crucial role of home-grown leaderships and coalitions in forging legitimate political settlements and institutions that promote developmental outcomes, such as sustainable growth, political stability and inclusive social development.

Find out more

News

New article: A typology of interaction between politicians and bureaucrats

Tuesday 14th March 2017

DLP Research Fellow Niheer Dasandi has co-authored a new article on how bureaucrats and politicians interact, and how this affects reform efforts. It appears in 'Public Administration and Development'.

Read more

Power and systems, and their role in developmental change: Guest seminar with Duncan Green

Tuesday 21st February 2017

Seeing power and complex social systems clearly is the first step towards supporting positive developmental change, says Oxfam Strategic Director and DLP research partner Duncan Green. He discussed the themes of his latest book at a recent International Development Department guest seminar at the University of Birmingham.

Read more

Follow: @dlprog