Asian Development Bank posted 12 Things to Know in 2012: Higher Education on its website reasserting the issue of expansion of systems without preparedness to cope with quality and access. Here are the 12 issues and facts from ADB:
- Over the last 20 years, higher education systems across Asia have experienced a sharply increased demand for access.
- Universities in many developing member countries suffer from inadequate infrastructure and weak instruction. Low quality is the greatest challenge facing higher educations systems across the region.
- Financial support for higher education dropped sharply in the 1990s and 2000s as the central development challenge of the era was to expand access to basic education.
- The World Bank has argued that sustainable poverty reduction will not be achieved without a renaissance in the higher education systems of developing countries.
- Countries that give individuals one additional year of education can boost productivity and raise economic output by 3% to 6% over time.
- In any analysis of higher education issues across Asia, generalizations must be treated with great caution. The region includes some of the most affluent economies – Japan, the Republic of Korea, and Singapore – as well as some of the poorest like Cambodia and Lao PDR. It also includes PRC and India, the fastest growing higher education systems in the world.
- Unemployment among university graduates in Southeast Asia is on the rise – the highest is in Indonesia and Philippines.
- A World Bank study noted that 80% of Thai firms had difficulties filling jobs as graduates lacked basic and technical skills.
- Corruption is a major problem within universities in some developing member countries in Asia, evidenced by instances of plagiarism, falsification of data, and cheating on examinations.
- Across Asia, more faculty members are needed, with higher qualifications and better wages – current academic staff are stretched as they seek ways to make ends meet, and the attractiveness of the profession is declining.
- In Indonesia, Japan, Republic of Korea, and Philippines, private universities enroll the majority of students – in some cases up to 80%.
- Since 1970, ADB has provided about $7.5 billion in loans to the education sector, of which 12% was for higher education.