Books & Reports

From Politika Public Policy Website:

Year: 2005
Financed by: Directorate – General for Education and Culture
Publisher: Eurydice
Language: English


This publication deals with the provision of citizenship education in schools and covers 30 European contries participating in the Eurydice Network. The comparative survey focuses on different national approaches to citizenship education and examines whether a European or international dimension has been officially incorporated into teaching of subject in schools. However, progress in the training of those who teach citizenship and more effective promotion of active participation by pupils in society at large arguably two major challenges in the years ahead.

Citizenship Education at School in Europe

(English, PDF)


This is the link to the recent State of Food Insecurity report for 2009 published by the FAO.  Education as policy priority needs to be consider as inextricably link to a complex array of social policies and often subordinated to other basic public needs.

From FAO website:

“This report comes at a time of severe economic crisis. Countries across the globe are seeing their
economies slow and recede. No nation is immune and, as usual, it is the poorest countries –
and the poorest people – that are suffering the most. As a result of the economic crisis,
estimates reported in this edition of The State of Food Insecurity in the World show that, for the first
time since 1970, more than one billion people – about 100 million more than last year and around one sixth of all of humanity – are hungry and undernourished worldwide.

A fascinating article presented by the Global Higher Education Blog. It is very interesting to point that the framing of the object of debate is formulated under the assumption of one national higher education system. I don’t believe that this assumptions is adequate in the case of the US. The debate on the global north on the relative decline of their system, also needs to consider the fact that many prominent universities that composed their national systems are also global institutions .  The  relative decline of public research  investment towards universities in national systems in the global north in relation to universities institutions in  the global south seems connected to the fact that nation states are pushing forward national and international agendas of innovation. Agendas that require increasing  investments to create or expand their own national capacities of research.

From Global Higher Education by Kris Olds:

Over the last several weeks more questions about the changing nature of the relative position of national higher education and research systems have emerged.  These questions have often been framed around the notion that the US higher education system (assuming there is one system) might be in relative decline, that flagship UK universities (national champions?) like Oxford are unable to face challenges given the constraints facing them, and that universities from ‘emerging’ regions (East and South Asia, in particular) are ‘rising’ due to the impact of continual or increasing investment in higher education and research.

Select examples of such contributions include this series in the Chronicle of Higher Education:

and these articles associated with the much debated THE-QS World University Rankings 2009:

EvidenceUKcoverThe above articles and graphics in US and UK higher education media outlets were preceded by this working paper:

a US report titled:

and one UK report titled:

There are, of course, many other calls for increased awareness, or deep and critical reflection.  For example, back in June 2009, four congressional leaders in the USA:

asked the National Academies to form a distinguished panel to assess the competitive position of the nation’s research universities. “America’s research universities are admired throughout the world, and they have contributed immeasurably to our social and economic well-being,” the Members of Congress said in a letter delivered today. “We are concerned that they are at risk.”….

The bipartisan congressional group asked that the Academies’ panel answer the following question: “What are the top ten actions that Congress, state governments, research universities, and others could take to assure the ability of the American research university to maintain the excellence in research and doctoral education needed to help the United States compete, prosper, and achieve national goals for health, energy, the environment, and security in the global community of the 21st century?”

Recall that the US National Academies produced a key 2005 report (Rising Above the Gathering Storm) “which in turn was the basis for the “America COMPETES Act.” This Act created a blueprint for doubling funding for basic research, improving the teaching of math and science, and taking other steps to make the U.S. more competitive.” On this note see our 16 June 2008 entry titled ‘Surveying US dominance in science and technology for the Secretary of Defense‘.

RisingStormTaken together, these contributions are but a sample of the many expressions of concern being expressed in 2009 in the Global North (especially the US & UK) about the changing geography of the global higher education and research landscape.

(read full here)

From Eldis, October 2009

Authors: A. Motivans; A. Acoca; A. Otchet
Publisher: UNESCO Institute for Statistics, 2009

This edition of the Global Education Digest (GED) explores the changing patterns in higher education, while presenting indicators that extend the entire scope of the education sector. The main aim of the digest is to help identify the potential for further expansion of the tertiary sector. In this context, the digest expands reporting on upper-secondary education graduates to 70 countries, which helps forecast the number of potential entrants into tertiary programmes.

The digest analyses the rising demand for higher education, and investigates how many attain tertiary qualifications, and in which fields of education they are, figuring out the trends of participation. In addition, it examines international student mobility, and also provides information about levels and sources of financing for tertiary education. Moreover, it introduces additional time series data on tertiary education to assess long-term progress.

The main findings of the digest are:

  • there is unprecedented growth in the number of tertiary students; much of this growth is due to changes in Asia
  • there are now more tertiary students in low-income and middle-income countries, while the opposite was true three decades ago
  • cross-nationally comparable data are vital to formulating policies, benchmarking progress and learning from experiences in other countries
  • broadening access to tertiary education has massive cost implications for governments, especially in developing countries, which brings attention to the important role of private sector in this relevance
  • by understanding the composition of graduate outputs, which is shaped by a complex web of factors, policymakers can make strategic decisions on how to invest limited resources within their own tertiary systems
  • it is essential for policymakers to understand the types of programmes that attract mobile students; this helps them better identify deficits in their local tertiary systems.
  • The following  video is based on the 2009 Human Development Report posted by the United Nations Development Programme. The full report is also available online at:

    Below a brief description of the focus of the 2009 report use to introduce the video clip:

    Allowing for migration both within and between countries has the potential to increase peoples freedom and improve the lives of millions around the world, according to the 2009 Human Development Report launched here today.

    We live in a highly mobile world, where migration is not only inevitable but also an important dimension of human development. Nearly one billion or one out of seven people are migrants. The report, Overcoming Barriers: Human mobility and development, demonstrates that migration can enhance human development for the people who move, for destination communities and for those who remain at home.

    Thanks to Mousumi Mukherjee for the link

    About the Report

    Places do well when they promote transformations along the dimensions of economic geography: higher densities as cities grow; shorter distances as workers and businesses migrate closer to density; and fewer divisions as nations lower their economic borders and enter world markets to take advantage of scale and trade in specialized products. World Development Report 2009 concludes that the transformations along these three dimensions–density, distance, and division–are essential for development and should be encouraged.

    The conclusion is controversial. Slum-dwellers now number a billion, but the rush to cities continues. A billion people live in lagging areas of developing nations, remote from globalization’s many benefits. And poverty and high mortality persist among the world’s “bottom billion,” trapped without access to global markets, even as others grow more prosperous and live ever longer lives. Concern for these three intersecting billions often comes with the prescription that growth must be spatially balanced.

    Complete Report

    Table of Contents & front matter

    Complete report Part 1Part 2

    Geography in Motion: The report at a glancespacer
    Geography in motion: The Report at a Glance – Density, Distance, and Division


    The new report, entitled World of Work Report 2008: Income inequalities in the age of financial globalization, produced by the ILO’s International Institute for Labour Studies contain a number of assertions in relation to education investment for development. I sometimes wonder if assertions like this are verifiable in all cases

    When spending on primary and secondary education is low in comparison to spending on tertiary education, children from low-income households will have
    fewer chances to obtain the secondary education that is a prerequisite for attending university. (p. 25)

    From Preface to World of Work Report  2008:

    Income inequalities are pervasive and growing in virtually all countries. Public debates and policies have focused on this challenge. Opinion surveys illustrate how people link the downsides of globalization to rising income inequalities. It is only appropriate therefore for the International Institute for Labour Studies to apply its analytical expertise to a trend of direct relevance to the world of work. The outcome is a comprehensive overview of key factors underlying unbalanced
    income developments. It shows that income inequality has risen more than can be justified by economic analysis and entails major social and economic costs. What emerges is an evidence-based critique of the way financial globalization has occurred so far. The findings assembled here provide analytical support to the ILO’s view that the growth model that led to the financial crisis is not sustainable. It confirms that a rebalancing between economic, social and environmental goals is vital both to recovery and also the shaping of a fair globalization. (p. vii)

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