Free Sample

This page shows what you find in each booklet from this TenProblems series. In particular, a sample from booklet #4, “Ten Problems for Education in the 2020s“, is presented. The sample is made of: 1) the general introduction to open issues for Education in the 2020s, as envisaged by global leaders in the last year; 2) the first chapter (out of ten) from the booklet, which is made of: the problem statement, the case studies, the conclusions section and a list of ten selected, freely available, internet references. All booklets follow the same template: a general introduction to the subject; ten chapters introducing ten relevant issues, each through ten selected, freely available references; a final chapter intended as an executive summary with all the conclusions, as taken from each chapter.


Education for the 2020s

The COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns have interrupted conventional schooling with nationwide school closures in most OECD and partner countries, lasting at least 10 weeks in the majority of them [1]. While the educational community has made important efforts to maintain learning continuity during this period, children and students have had to rely more on their own resources to continue learning remotely through the Internet, television or radio. Disadvantaged students have had the hardest time adjusting to distance learning. Spending on education may also be compromised in the coming years. As emergency public funds might be directed to health and social welfare, long-term public spending on education is at risk despite short-term stimulus packages in some countries.

It has become increasingly important for students of all ages to be able to access and use the Internet for learning [2]. This topic became especially salient as schools moved to remote learning in response to COVID-19 concerns at the start of 2020. In 2018, some 94 percent of 3- to 18-year-olds had home internet access in the United States: 88 percent had access through a computer, and 6 percent had access only through a smartphone. The remaining 6 percent had no internet access at home.

In order to reduce the spread of COVID-19, most countries around the world have decided to temporarily close educational institutions. However, learning has not stopped but is now fully taking place online as schools and universities provide remote schooling. COVID-19 will not affect students equally, will influence negatively both cognitive and non-cognitive skills acquisition, and may have important long-term consequences in addition to the short-term ones [3].

UNICEF East Asia and the Pacific Regional Office developed the Programme Guidance ‘Adolescents’ Potential Unleashed: Improving Second-Decade Education and Learning in East Asia and the Pacific’ [4] to help UNICEF Country Offices to define clear priorities, strategies and interventions to address these challenges around adolescents’ education and learning. The guidance suggests the definition of data-driven and evidence-based programming, embracing innovations, promising partnerships and cross-sectoral work to strengthen the education system and alternative modalities to foster adolescents’ learning and skills. It suggests a strong equity and gender focus.

The Stepping Up – Refugee Education in Crisis report [5] tells the stories of some of the world’s 7.1 million refugee children of school age under UNHCR’s mandate. In addition, it looks at the educational aspirations of refugee youth eager to continue learning after secondary education, and highlights the need for strong partnerships in order to break down the barriers to education for millions of refugee children. Education data on refugee enrollments and population numbers is drawn from UNHCR’s population database, reporting tools and education surveys and refers to 2018. Where this data is not available, it has been estimated on the basis of available age disaggregated data. The report also references global enrollment data from the UNESCO Institute for Statistics referring to 2017.

Starting from such general references, this booklet identifies ten relevant areas from very recent contributions put forward at academic level in the form journal articles, conference proceedings and students theses. Ten freely accessible internet references have been selected for each area and direct links are provided at the end of each chapter for own consultation. Our selected references do not intend to mirror ranking indexes nor establish novel classifications. On the contrary, they are meant to represent peer-reviewed, diverse and scientifically-sound case studies for vertical dissemination aimed at non-specialist readers. They will also be able to scoop even more references through the bibliography that is reported at the end of each selected reference.

Without further ado, these are the “Ten Problems for Education in the 2020s” that we are going to introduce in this booklet:

  1. funding,
  2. safety,
  3. technology,
  4. standardization,
  5. teachers,
  6. lifelong learning,
  7. diversity,
  8. creativity,
  9. accreditation,
  10. new trends.

Each problem has its own dedicated chapter made of an introductory section, a short presentation of the ten selected references and a conclusions section.

The final chapter of this booklet will report the conclusions from each chapter again in order to provide a complete executive summary.

GENERAL REFERENCES CITED

[1] OECD, “Education at a Glance 2020”, 8 Set 2020, OECD Indicators, OECD Publishing, Paris, https://doi.org/10.1787/69096873-en, online at https://read.oecd-ilibrary.org/education/education-at-a-glance-2020_69096873-en#page1 , accessed on 15 Jan 2021

[2] B. Hussar et al., “The Condition of Education 2020”, 19 May 2020, NCES 2020-144, U.S. Department of Education. Washington, DC: National Center for Education Statistics, online at https://nces.ed.gov/pubs2020/2020144.pdf

[3] G. Di Pietro et al., “The likely impact of COVID-19 on education: Reflections based on the existing literature and recent international datasets”, 2020, JRC Technical Report, European Commission, online at https://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/bitstream/JRC121071/jrc121071.pdf

[4] F. Benavides et al. , “Improving Second-Decade Education and Learning in East Asia and the Pacific”, 2019, UNICEF , online at https://www.unicef.org/eap/media/3521/file/Second%20decade%20-%20education%20in%20EAP.pdf

[5] F. Grandi et al., “Stepping Up – Refugee Education in Crisis”, 2019, UNHCR, online at https://www.unhcr.org/steppingup/wp-content/uploads/sites/76/2019/09/Education-Report-2019-Final-web-9.pdf


1 Funding

THE PROBLEM – The importance of methods and forms of funds allocation to universities depending on ownership forms must be substantiated. How should resources be invested to achieve high-quality education in ways that redress the effects of inequities and historical discrimination?

CASE STUDIES – Financial autonomy possibilities of European tertiary education institutions include: line-item budget, grant-based budget, public fund balance, tuition fee, loans, real estate [1]. A study aims to explore the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic to higher education [2]. An article aims to estimate the impact of lower tax revenues on the funding of basic education, in the context of the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic [3]. Around 35 United Stares states now provide performance-based funding for higher education [4]. Public schools in the United States are among the most inequitably funded of any in the industrialized world [5]. Philanthropy in the provision of United Kingdom higher education is relatively underexplored despite its long history in higher education [6]. The COVID-19 problem caused schools in Indonesia to have difficulty managing school finances at macro and micro levels [7]. Most studies on international students focus on education and spatial issues, with very little economic analysis [8]. In India, there is a resounding case for investment in education, even when viewed with the narrow lens of economic returns [9]. The problem of educational equity has been restricting the development of higher education in China [10], with poor students particularly affected.

In Europe, an increase in the consolidated budget expenditure on education by 1% results in an increase in the Gross Domestic Product by 1.02% [1]. In almost all the countries, except for the Netherlands, households share of private education funding at primary, secondary and secondary vocational levels is the largest. Households also contribute the largest share to tertiary education funding, except for the Czech Republic, Finland and Switzerland.

The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed universities in different nations such as in developing African countries beyond their limits [2] toward developing appropriate and creative alternatives such as transitioning to remote learning, training of academic staff in the use of online instruction materials and tools and encouraging students to complete their education requirements through online learning in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The impacts of the COVID-19 declining tax revenue on the financing of public basic education schools can considerably worsen inequalities in the conditions of education supply, especially in the poorest regions and localities with lower tax revenues [3]. Although there is often a gap in the legal context, it is reasonable to consider administrative and judicial actions to compulsorily allocate part of emergency aid to education

In the United States, some portion of government funding for public higher education is based not on enrollments and previous funding levels, but instead on institutional performance reflecting student outcomes measures such as persistence, degree completion, and job placement [4]. Performance-based funding is also quite common in Australia, Canada, and many European countries. However, the impacts of performance-based funding on student outcomes are often weak.

In the United States, as a function of the commitment to education in each of the small towns that emerged as the country grew, the funding system that resulted is rooted in local property tax bases that are highly unequal [5]. State funding rarely equalizes these disparities adequately. As a result, students in low-wealth districts, who are frequently students from low-income families, typically have the fewest resources, including less-qualified teachers, poorer curriculum, larger classes, and fewer materials for learning.

In the United Kingdom, philanthropy in higher education has received notable policy attention, with two specific policy incentives to foster giving: a capacity-building scheme and a match-funding scheme [6]. More recently, a complex, ongoing shift of funding in higher education from private to public to private again suggests a more consistent role for philanthropic funding and fundraisers than is often anticipated, toward a widespread professionalization of fundraising.

There are two impacts on the sustainability of education caused by the COVID-19 pandemic in Indonesia: the first is the short-term impact felt by many families, the second is the psychological problems of students who are used to learning face to face with their teachers. In the world of education, efficiency and effectiveness tends to be characterized by a pattern of distribution and utilization of educational resources that have been arranged efficiently with effective management [7].

Many international students, especially those with graduate degrees, stay on in the host country after graduation. Four areas of research have emerged that need further investigation, particularly for the Europe and Central Asia region [8]: pull and push factors, impact of foreign direct investment in higher education services, impact of international student and scholar mobility on global collaborative patents, field experiments in international student or migration research.

In India, there are a number of important nuances within the economic perspective of education. Some of these are [9]: higher return on investment in education across demographic/social groups, e.g. for women, for those in poverty, and for disadvantaged regions; return on investment of various stages of education, e.g. on early childhood education, on secondary education, on tertiary education. That said, there is inadequate research on these matters, as on most other matters.

A recent paper from China [10] is aimed at helping poor students in a critical period from the popularization and the diffusion of higher education. It first expounds the specific forms of the higher education funding system in China and the United States, then finds out the defects of the higher education funding system in China through the comparison between China and the United States, and tries to put forward some suggestions to better improve this shortcoming.

CONCLUSIONS – In Europe, an increase in the consolidated budget expenditure on education by 1% results in an increase in the Gross Domestic Product by 1.02%. The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed universities in different nations such as in developing African countries beyond their limits. The impacts of the COVID-19 declining tax revenue on the financing of public basic education schools can considerably worsen inequalities in the conditions of education supply. Performance-based funding is also quite common in Australia, Canada, and many European countries but its impact on student outcomes are often weak. In the United States, students in low-wealth districts, who are frequently students from low-income families, typically have the fewest resources. In the COVID-19 world of education, efficiency and effectiveness tends to be characterized by a pattern of distribution and utilization of educational resources that have been arranged efficiently with effective management. Many international students, especially those with graduate degrees, stay on in the host country after graduation. In India, there are a number of important nuances within the economic perspective of education and the return on investment for the many disadvantaged parts of its population. That also applies to China, with many poor students in a critical period from the popularization and the diffusion of higher education

TEN FREE REFERENCES FROM THE INTERNET

[1] L. Oleynikova et al., “Methodological Approaches to Funding Tertiary Education Institutions Given the Relationship between GDP and Budget Expenditure on Education”, 2019, Advances in Economics, Business and Management Research, volume 99, online at https://download.atlantis-press.com/article/125919235.pdf

[2] M. Muftahu, “Higher Education and Covid-19 Pandemic: Matters arising and the challenges of sustaining academic programs in developing African universities”, 2020, International Journal of Educational Research Review 5(4) 417-423, online at https://dergipark.org.tr/en/download/article-file/1224882  

[3] T. Alves et al., “Implications of the COVID-19 pandemic on funding basic education”, 2020, Brazilian Journal of Public Administration 54(4):979-993, online at https://www.scielo.br/pdf/rap/v54n4/en_1982-3134-rap-54-04-979.pdf  

[4] R.S. Natow et al., “Performance Funding as Neoliberal Policy”, 2019, International Higher Education, No. 98, Summer 2019, online at https://ejournals.bc.edu/index.php/ihe/article/download/11181/9431/

[5] L. Darling-Hammond, “Investing for Student Success: Lessons From State School Finance Reforms”, 2019, Palo Alto, US,  Learning Policy Institute, online at https://learningpolicyinstitute.org/sites/default/files/product-files/Investing_Student_Success_REPORT.pdf 

[6] S. Kraemer, “Public policy making, fundraisers and philanthropic giving in UK higher education in the 21st century; the examples of two policy incentives.”, 2019, PhD thesis, University of Kent, United Kingdom, online at https://kar.kent.ac.uk/73691/1/Simone%20Kraemer%20PhD%20final%20thesis%202019.pdf

[7] H. Argadinata et al., “Problematics of Financing and Funding Efficiency on Economic Basis in Schools in the Era of Pandemic Covid-19”, 2020, Nusantara Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities 1(1), 11-22, online at https://lekantara.com/journal/index.php/njsh/article/download/11/4

[8] G. Chellaraj, “The Economics of International Student and Scholar Mobility”, 2019, World Bank Group, online at https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/6f25/852e1cadcf27d9f0ac15e6b8d0da7328775e.pdf

[9] K. Kasturirangan et al., “Draft National Education Policy 2019”, 2018, Government of India, online at https://mhrd.gov.in/sites/upload_files/mhrd/files/Draft_NEP_2019_EN_Revised.pdf

[10] X.Q. Hu, “Comparison of Higher Education Funding Systems between China and the United States”, 2019, Open Journal of Social Sciences, 2019, 7, 150-159. https://doi.org/10.4236/jss.2019.74013 online at https://file.scirp.org/pdf/JSS_2019041514433493.pdf