Higher Education and Economic Development

Higher Education and Economic Development

Higher education is an important form of investment in human capital development. In fact, it can be regarded as a high level or a specialized form of human capital, contribution of which to economic development is very significant. It is rightly regarded as the “engine of development in the new world economy”. It helps in the rapid industrialization of the economy, by providing manpower with professionals, technical and managerial skills.

In the present context of transformation of nations into knowledge economies and knowledge societies, higher education provides not just educated workers, but knowledge workers to the growth of the economy. It creates attitudes, and makes possible attitudinal changes necessary for the socialization of the individuals and the modernization and overall transformation of the societies. Fourthly and most importantly, higher education helps, through teaching and research in the creation, absorption and dissemination of knowledge. Higher education also helps in the formation of a strong nation-state and at the same time helps in globalization.

Higher education contributes to economic growth through the “production of knowledge” and that is largely takes place within the major universities through faculty members’ and their advanced students’ research and creative activities. It is generally acknowledged that colleges and universities contribute to national growth through the “diffusion of knowledge”, which result from the external may serve activities of their faculty, staff, and students. Finally, it is universally accepted that postsecondary institutions contribute to the “transmission of knowledge” through extensive and varied teaching activities.


Higher education promotes the development on the following bases:

  • Income growth:  Higher education’s contribution to growth, therefore, means better living standards for people at all levels of a society.
  • Creating new technology: Higher education graduates are likely to be more aware of and better able to use new technologies. They are also more likely to develop new tools and skills themselves.
  • Enlightened leaders:  It can give leaders the confidence, flexibility, breadth of knowledge, and technical skills needed to effectively confront the economic and political realities of the twenty-first century. It also generates cadres of well trained teachers for all levels of the education system.
  • Expanding choices:  As such, an accessible higher education system offering a wide range of quality options for study— is a major achievement, bolstering social mobility and helping the talented to fulfill their potential
  • Increasingly relevant skills: Higher education is absolutely necessary for training scientists, engineers, and others to help invent, adopt, and operate modern technology in all sectors. When scientists in developing countries are inspired to define and address local problems, they are likely to contribute to appropriate solutions in such vital areas as environmental protection, the prevention and treatment of illness, industrial expansion, and infrastructure provision.


The level of education that contributes to growth; primary, secondary, or higher education, although we will argue that the case for higher education as a key factor in economic development has grown stronger in recent years.


Reference: 8th Global Conference on Business and economics



The author of this article is Assistant Professor, Pioneer Institute of Professional Studies

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