I’ve spent part of my formative years in the US: there, I had the opportunity to study at Harvard, where I got to know extraordinary people, with whom I’ve exchanged many experiences. People who taught me a lot, such as Michael Porter. Recently I came across an article published on the Economist that I found really insightful. It was about the future of global universities, an incredibly complex scenario, yet packed with new challenges and opportunities.
Let’s start from the good news: there has never been another time in history where young people have been as educated as they are now. Never. And even though in Europe and the US mass-higher education is something we take for granted, the numbers recorded in the far East are truly mind-blowing. Just think about South Korea, where the 80% of young people attends top level US-style universities, or China, where the number of uni students has increased from 1 million to a whopping 7 millions between 1998 and 2010. A gigantic step forward for the Celestial Empire that has led to the employment of more than 900,000 new professors.
The total number of people currently graduating in both the US and India is still less than that of China, a country aiming at reaching the 40% of young people in higher education mark by 2020. The education system’s economy requires an increasing number of qualified, competent workers and some developed countries understood this a long time ago, choosing to provide the young generation with top of the range education, which is actually the best way to prepare it for the future.