Resolution Foundation

How higher education can boost people-powered growth

Steering Economic Change
Steering Economic Change

Higher education brings benefits to individuals, to the wider economy and to society. From America’s post War GI Bill to the transformation of Korea, more people getting more education is one of the most powerful tools which a government has to transform its economy. The OECD estimate that every extra year of education boosts long term growth by 3 to 6 per cent. Future participation in higher education is a key factor in its assessment of the long-term growth prospects of different economies.

However, there is a new mood of edu-scepticism which casts doubt on such an optimistic view of the value of education and inhibits governments from investigating how higher education can best contribute to growth.

As we have moved from a small, elite, socially selective higher education to large-scale, inclusive, mass higher education, so its inter-connections with and importance for the wider economy have grown. This paper focusses on strengthening four points of connection with the wider economy.