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Constructing Knowledge Societies : New Challenges for Tertiary Education


  • World Bank


This report describes how tertiary education contributes to building up a country's capacity for participation in an increasingly knowledge-based world economy and investigates policy options for tertiary education that have the potential to enhance economic growth and reduce poverty. It examines the following questions: What is the importance of tertiary education for economic and social development? How should developing and transition countries position themselves to take full advantage of the potential contribution of tertiary education? How can the World Bank and other development agencies assist in this process? The report draws on ongoing Bank research and analysis on the dynamics of knowledge economies and on science and technology development. Using this background, it explores how countries can adapt and shape their tertiary education systems to confront successfully the combination of new and old challenges in the context of the rising significance for tertiary education of internal and international market forces. It examines the justification for continuing public support of tertiary education and the appropriate role of the state in support of knowledge-driven economic growth. Finally, it reviews the lessons from recent World Bank experience with support of tertiary education, including ways of minimizing the negative political impact of reforms, and makes recommendations for future Bank involvement.

Suggested Citation

  • World Bank, 2002. "Constructing Knowledge Societies : New Challenges for Tertiary Education," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 15224, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbpubs:15224

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    8. Jock R. Anderson, 1999. "Institutional Reforms for Getting an Agricultural Knowledge System to Play Its Role in Economic Growth," The Pakistan Development Review, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, vol. 38(4), pages 333-354.
    9. Ryoo, Jai-Kyung & Nam, Young-Sook & Carnoy, Martin, 1993. "Changing rates of return to education over time: A Korean case study," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 71-80, March.
    10. Birdsall, Nancy, 1996. "Public spending on higher education in developing countries: Too much or too little?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 15(4), pages 407-419, October.
    11. Banker, Rajiv D. & Chang, Hsi-Hui & Majumdar, Sumit K., 1998. "Economies of scope in the U.S. telecommunications industry1," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 253-272, June.
    12. Milanovic, Branko, 1998. "Explaining the increase in inequality during the transition," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1935, The World Bank.
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