Mass Higher Education Development in East Asia: Strategy, Quality, and Challenges

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South and South-East Asia are very diverse. It also includes some of the smallest and richest Singapore, Brunei. Progress towards these levels has been steady. The variation in primary enrolment rates over the last decade between countries is shown in Figure 1. By some of those with the highest enrolment rates saw the value of the GER fall as the numbers of overage children within the primary cycle reduced.

Several of the lowenrolment countries made large gains in enrolment rates. There is however a tendency for those with the highest enrolment rates at primary to have low enrolment rates at secondary. Figure 3 shows GERs at primary and lower-secondary level. About half the countries in the region are well short of universalising access to lower secondary school and will need to mobilise additional finance for this purpose and more if upper secondary and higher education is to be expanded. Though it appears almost all countries have enough primary school places to enrol all children of school age, the aggregation of data conceals the large numbers of overage children, repeaters and late entrants in the countries where less than half of all those who enter complete the first cycle successfully e.

And the overall GER also conceals the conditions under which children may be learning in very large classes and inappropriate buildings with little learning material.

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Figure 3: Participation indicated by GERs at primary and lower secondary. This identifies how demand for sustainable financing is likely to be affected by patterns of growth over the next two decades. In countries with a high participation rate, increased budget allocations are most likely to be directed towards inputs to improve quality. In countries with low participation and a high dropout rate, much additional financing may be needed to reach goals of universal access.

A range of strategies will also be needed to finance higher education where growth will be difficult to sustain without some forms of cost-sharing and reduced costs per student. The Maldives has an unusual pattern with an increase in enrolment rates in Grades 7 to 9 and then a rapid drop-off.

This is likely to reflect repetition and patterns of migration between islands up to Grade 10, after which significant numbers may go abroad to continue their education. The pattern shown on the charts includes only school enrolments. Above Grade 10 in some countries the education system becomes diversified with a range of further education options.

These countries include Indonesia, India, Philippines, and Bhutan.

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The shape of the enrolment curve in this group is of a shallow decline up until Grade 9, with some countries having a slightly convex pattern of enrolment. In this group there is a tipping point where there are more in the age group for the Grade than there are enrolled at about Grade6. Enrolment curves tend to be convex. This is an indication that there are many overage children enrolled. Dropout is then substantial and continues through the grades. In most of the countries there is a continuous decline grade on grade above the lowest grades.

In these countries fewer than half the children complete lower secondary school. The tipping point for more in the age group than enrolled is typically about Grade 4. Enrolment curves are mildly convex. Figure 6: Group 3: Countries with high initial enrolment and high dropout.

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Only two countries within the region fall into this group. They are Pakistan and Afghanistan. In both, the number entering school in Grade 1 is quite close to the number of children in the age group. The tipping point is at Grade 2 and the enrolment curve shows a fairly linear decline. Pattern 1 is virtually identical, with almost all children enrolled through to Grade 9 and most continuing to Grade Pattern 4 is indicative of low enrolments in every grade, though not quite as low as the worst cases in sub-Saharan Africa.

The patterns are likely to lead to different demands on financing and a range of varied emphases in policy dialogue. In Group 2, overall enrolment rates at primary are in the mid range: most children complete the primary grades, and about half proceed into lower secondary schools. These countries are likely to have concerns for balanced growth of secondary schooling and improved quality at primary. In Group 3 countries, enrolment patterns suggest very high levels of repetition and overage enrolment in the lower grades, and high dropout with low completion rates at primary.

In these countries internal efficiency at primary is low and this must be addressed with some urgency. Group 4 countries are a long way from universal access to primary schooling. Expanding the capacity and the reach of the primary school system is likely to remain a priority since many children do not complete a full cycle of basic education. This then indicates what proportion of GDP governments need to allocate to education. The aggregate recurrent costs of expanding schooling towards target levels e.

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Figure 9: Proportion of primary children of school age in the population. These countries have undergone demographic transition to low growth as have Singapore, Vietnam, Myanmar, and some Pacific islands.

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The financial effort needed to enrol all children of school age is greater for countries with a larger proportion of school-age children. If it has two three-year subcycles for lower and upper secondary respectively, then the numbers across the whole six-year cycle will be comparable to those for the primary age range, if population growth is low. The situation is similar for higher education. Where population is still growing fast and demographic transition has not occurred, then the numbers of children of secondary and higher-education age will be correspondingly less than those in the primary age group.

The limited data available provides the comparisons in Figure So do some much poorer countries like Vietnam and Thailand. Higher-education unit costs can be very high and more than ten times as much as primary schooling, leading to financial constraints on mass access. Figure Expenditure per student as a percentage of GDP per capita by educational level.

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Figure 11 shows the variation. This represents very different amounts of GDP because the amount of domestic revenue collected to finance governments varies so much. Dr Jung, Jisun. Professor Postiglione, Gerard A. DC Field Value Language dc. Cham, Switzerland: Springer International Publishing, - dc. Hong Kong has experienced the rapid expansion of higher education during last three decades and the government has developed several policy strategies to respond the increasing demands.

For example, in addition to the establishment of new universities, some existing polytechnic institutions were upgraded to offer degree programs. Furthermore, self-financed programs and associate degree programs were also introduced to respond to the government initiatives focused on increasing higher education opportunities.


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