A Global Glance

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Looking over one’s shoulder at the rest of the world, there appears to be a different set of national government approaches to funding and supporting higher education during the Great Recession than what we find in the US. Because higher education has emerged in most nation-states as a key and widely recognized driver for both economic development and socio-economic mobility, we see indicators, as you can order A great articles reviews more, that many governments are protecting their higher education sectors from large cuts in this fiscal year.

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As noted previously, the role of higher education as a mitigation and salve in what appears to be the end of the recession, led Moody’s to predict that public universities internationally will fare rather well in their revenue streams when compared to many other economic sectors. They predicted that universities would be able to increase enrollment during the recession, receive strong financial support from their governments, “and offer long-term potential for increasing revenue diversity.” Further, they stated that public universities, with their dependence on public investment, would have more stable funding futures when compared to private institutions with their greater reliance on tuition and fees and, in the case of the US, endowments.

 

Indeed, a preliminary glance at OECD nations indicates, with a number of exceptions, relative stability in public funding for this academic year (2009-2010), and, in turn, the ability of public sector universities to maintain their levels of access, and in some instances to expand enrollment and maintain faculty staffing. In addition, special initiatives, including competitions for building high-ranking universities in Germany, Taiwan, South Korea, China, and in other countries, continue to receive funding from supportive ministries.

 

In 2005, Taiwan allocated $1.6 billion for the development of “elite universities,” aiming to have 10 of Asia’s top universities or departments by 2010. At the moment, there are no signs that the Taiwanese government will cut or reduce funding for this program.

 

Most OECD countries, and a number of others such as China, have maintained initiatives to increase international students and in the case of China, to attract current or former citizens with doctoral degrees and often highly accomplished academics to return to their home country – so-called “brain gain” programs.

 

 

But there is also the prospect that some budget cuts will come into effect in much of the world, and in particular in Europe, if not this year, during the next academic year. The following analysis provides a scan of the funding and support for higher education systems and universities in Europe, Asia/Oceania, and the situation in Brazil, with a focus on budgets and the role of HEIs (Higher Education Institutions) in economic recovery.

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