Measuring the Quality of Educational Outputs: A Note
This paper contrasts the approach to the measurement of stocks of education that is adopted by growth economists on the one hand and governments wishing to improve economic performance through education on the other. It it pointed out progress to date in demonstrating the link between human capital investment and economic growth for a range of countries world-wide has been disappointing. It is suggested that more precise measurement methods in compiling the datasets used by growth economists might contribute to research in this area. In the same way, the needs of governments monitoring the performance of their own country against those of others require a reformulated approach. To meet the needs of the latter group, data educational qualifications will need to be collected in a more consistent manner in the difference countries and adjustments made to take into account different types of certification. Inconsistancies in the current methods probably lead to a group of countries in which the real outputs are underrstated. A more rigorous and tightly-defined taxonomy should be developed in succession to the ISCED to from the framework for qualitative comparison. Decisions about the allocation of qualifications to a revised framework should be based on agreed measures of quality. Detailed information and qualitative data on inputs to qualifications need to be assembled, scrutined and analysed to permit the construction of such measures.
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