Local and global public good contributions of higher education: a comparative study in six national systems

It is widely agreed that higher education contributes to the public dimension of society, producing benefits that aren’t confined to individuals. Yet the public benefits of higher education are untheorised, poorly defined and not readily measured and, as a result, higher education tends to be undervalued and under-financed.

This project takes a comparative approach, using contrasting case studies from six countries. It starts with a conceptual framework that reconciles the contrasting political and economic definitions, and aims to develop a comprehensive framework and method for conceiving, monitoring, measuring and judging the public benefits of universities.

The benefits under scrutiny include both national public goods and global public goods. The researchers intend the framework to be generic, in that it will be effectively applicable to higher education in all countries. Hence the need for contrasting national case study research, including interviews with personnel from government, higher education, other organisations and international agencies.

External Project Members include: Lin Tian (Shanghai Jiao Tong University), Kiyomi Horiuchi (Hiroshima University), Futao Huang (Hiroshima University), Nian Cai Liu  (Shanghai Jiao Tong University) and Vincent Carpentier (UCL Institute of Education).

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