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

Governments are increasingly looking to international comparisons of education opportunities and outcomes as they develop policies to enhance individuals’ social and economic prospects, provide incentives for greater efficiency in schooling, and help to mobilize resources to meet rising demands. Education at a Glance 2019 [1] addresses the needs of a range of users, from governments seeking to learn policy lessons to academics requiring data for further analysis to the general public wanting to monitor how their countries’ schools are progressing in producing world-class students. The publication examines the quality of learning outcomes, the policy levers and contextual factors that shape these outcomes, and the broader private and social returns that accrue to investments in education.

The Condition of Education 2019 [2] is a congressionally mandated annual report summarizing the latest data on education in the United States. This report is designed to help policymakers and the public monitor educational progress. The report includes 48 indicators on topics ranging from prekindergarten through post-secondary education, as well as labor force outcomes and international comparisons. The top ranking of 15-year-old students on the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) science literacy scale 2015, by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) with 73 countries assessed, was in this order: Singapore, Japan, Estonia, Chinese Taipei, Finland, Macau (China), Canada, Vietnam, Hong Kong (China), B-S-J-G (China), with the United States ranked 25th.

The Education and Training Monitor 2019 [3] from Directorate-General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture of the European Commission includes twenty-eight individual European Union country reports. It builds on the most up-to-date quantitative and qualitative evidence to present and assess the main recent and ongoing policy measures in each EU Member State: a statistical overview of the main education and training indicators; the main strengths and challenges of the country’s education and training system; teachers and challenges of teaching profession; investment in education and training; policies to modernize early childhood and school education; measures to modernize higher education; vocational education and training; adult learning.

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 2019”, 2019, OECD Indicators, OECD Publishing, Paris, https://doi.org/10.1787/f8d7880d-en , online at https://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/deliver/f8d7880d-en.pdf?itemId=/content/publication/f8d7880d-en&mimeType=application/pdf

[2] J. McFarland et al., “The Condition of Education 2019”, NCES 2019-144, U.S. Department of Education. Washington, DC: National Center for Education Statistics, online at https://nces.ed.gov/pubs2019/2019144.pdf

[3] Directorate-General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture, “Education and Training Monitor 2019 – Country analysis”, 2019, European Commission, doi: 10.2766/397742 , online at https://ec.europa.eu/education/sites/education/files/document-library-docs/volume-2-2019-education-and-training-monitor-country-analysis.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. Non-state funding in Europe include: households, contracts with private partners, charitable funding, income from services, international public funding and funds for research and development. In the United States and China, performance-based resource allocation is heavily pursued to realize outcomes such as higher graduation rates and improved research productivity, but they are actually weak. Also, international trade in higher education services in the form of international student mobility is increasing sharply. 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]. The Chinese government is developing a new funding program called the “double first-class” plan, which features performance-based funding as a central pillar of government funding [2]. Total academic R&D spending in only 640 institutions of all the United States accounted for 99.8% of the total higher education R&D expenditures reported for 2016 [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]. United Kingdom education is punching above its weight, but below its potential in that they it faces a range of issues in increasing its international footprint [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.

A study from China [2] develops a performance-based method for a central planner to allocate research funding to different universities to better stimulate the research output. The method builds on existing works on resource allocation via efficiency analysis. The method takes multiple dimensions of research performance into account, including number of publications, number of patents, and revenue from knowledge transfer.

In the United States, universities rely to differing degrees on the various major sources of funding, including the federal government, state and local governments, businesses, nonprofit organizations, and higher education institutions [3]. State and local government funds for higher education R&D declined 6% from 2010 to 2016. There were wide variations among the states. Such funding declined by varying amounts in 31 states, for example, falling by 2% in Florida and by 75% in Missouri.

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.

The United Kingdom has a global reputation for education, characterized by excellence and quality. Education related exports deliver an important economic contribution generating almost £20 billion in 2016. This includes over £1.8 billion generated by transnational education activities, an increase of 73% since 2010. An increasingly competitive global environment means that, in order to preserve market share, the education sector needs support that only government can give [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%. China is developing performance-based methods for a central planner to allocate research funding to different universities to better stimulate the research output. In the United States, universities rely to differing degrees on the various major sources of funding, including the federal government, state and local governments, businesses, nonprofit organizations, and higher education institutions. 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 United Kingdom, 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; that said, an increasingly competitive global environment means that, in order to preserve market share, the education sector needs support that only government can give. 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] D. Wang., “Performance-based resource allocation for higher education institutions in China”, 2018, Socio-Economic Planning Sciences 65 (2019) 66–75 , online at https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0038012117302264/pdfft?md5=ec7fd1abbdcb9e787501b2f1d0291b7c&pid=1-s2.0-S0038012117302264-main.pdf

[3] K. Hale et al., “Higher Education R&D Spending: Spending and Funding Sources Differ by State”, 2019, National Science Foundation NSF 19-303, March 2019, online at https://vtechworks.lib.vt.edu/bitstream/handle/10919/90751/RDSpendingHigEducation.pdf?sequence=1

[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] Department for Education and Department for International Trade, “International Education Strategy: global potential, global growth”, 2019, Government of the United Kingdom, online at https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/799349/International_Education_Strategy_Accessible.pdf

[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