Knowledge for Development

Research on Higher Education and Science and Innovation Policy: Policy Implications

Author: Merle Jacob

Date: 08/03/2015


By Merle Jacob, UNESCO Chair, Lund University, Sweden  

 Merle Jacob recommends that in the pursuit of providing broad-based education – primary, secondary and tertiary – policy makers should not sacrifice quality, even though the demands, expectations and the diversity of options for higher education in ACP countries have shifted.


 Jacob notes that excellence must be maintained and continuing post higher education certification is necessary for competence building in science and technology. Institutional diversity is therefore not a substitute for investing in publicly funded institutions of higher learning and research as national problems may require local effort and may be invaluable for increasing value added in commodity-dependent economies. Jacob further recommends that successful cases be accessed and interrogated, and that the ACP platform be leveraged for effectively partnering with European higher education organizations. The diaspora may be a source of expertise and guidance that can be tapped to support decision making. Higher education policy is a cornerstone of science and innovation capacity building and the key challenge facing policymakers is how to promote and sustain a national higher education structure that includes a mix of institutions with a global reach and those with more local and national ambitions.  

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