12 Things to Know about Asian Higher Education: ADB

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:

  1. Over the last 20 years, higher education systems across Asia have experienced a sharply increased demand for access.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. The World Bank has argued that sustainable poverty reduction will not be achieved without a renaissance in the higher education systems of developing countries.
  5. Countries that give individuals one additional year of education can boost productivity and raise economic output by 3% to 6% over time.
  6. 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.
  7. Unemployment among university graduates in Southeast Asia is on the rise – the highest is in Indonesia and Philippines.
  8. A World Bank study noted that 80% of Thai firms had difficulties filling jobs as graduates lacked basic and technical skills.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. In Indonesia, Japan, Republic of Korea, and Philippines, private universities enroll the majority of students – in some cases up to 80%.
  12. Since 1970, ADB has provided about $7.5 billion in loans to the education sector, of which 12% was for higher education.

Source: ADB

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