Higher education: The new global economic war

Higher education: The new global economic war

With the birth of the knowledge society, higher education is booming. There were 13 million university students in 1960. In 2015, their ranks had swollen to nearly 200 million. The number of students attending university is exploding around the world, as a gigantic global student market is being forged… It’s a simple fact: for the past two decades, the new wealth-producing champions have been business executives and members of the intellectual and scientific professions.

Universities are operating in the world’s most competitive knowledge economy. They are waging a ferocious battle to attract the brightest minds from around the globe. We delve into the key seats of decision-making, where money and politics intermingle, and show the deep cultural divide between a lucrative Anglo-Saxon model of funding and the universal independent European model. We also document the emergence of a new class of over-educated and over-indebted workers. Who really benefits from this heightened competition? Just how much debt should students take on? What is the real price for our societies? Is higher education set to be a big market?

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