GlobalHigherEd has posted on Twitter this graph, which predicts the world’s production of degrees in higher education, from data supplied by OECD, UNESCO, and various National Statistics websites, for 2020:
The graph below, of the historic data, may be a little bit more difficult to read, but the upshot is clear: while countries that have dominated higher education and innovation over the last few decades are registering losses in their production of a population armed with higher education degrees, certain other countries are gaining. China’s share of post-secondary degrees held by members of its population aged 25-34 is to grow from a current 18% to a whopping 29% by 2020.
For one perspective on these statistics, you can go to the BBC’s article published earlier today, “End of Empire for Western Universities?” For an American-centric perspective, you can turn to University World News. The question is, where are the Canadian perspectives? How should we assess a situation in which Canada produced 2% of the degrees in post-secondary education in G20 countries in 2000; 2% in 2010; and is projected to be producing — yes, that’s right — 2% in 2020? Shouldn’t we too, like India, like Indonesia, like China — be increasing our investment in post-secondary education, and producing a higher percentage of citizens equipped with a post-secondary education? If Canada is going to simply hold at producing 2% of the world’s degrees in higher education, how can it be said that any Canadian province has “over-invested” in post-secondary education? And what do we imagine will be the consequences for Canada’s prosperity?