Continuing Crisis in Tertiary Education of Developing and Transition Countries
Caste- The unequal treatment for the students that come from the tribe or ethnic groups are very evident. -In Venezuela, the widespread preferential admission for students of University professors and employees is an example of positive discrimination in favor of the children of the already privileged intellectual elite. – In India, efforts to reduce barriers that linked to caste but still the representation of students from different tribes and castes are still low. . Language – contribute to social inequality in countries where tertiary education is conducted in a language different from that of primary and secondary education. In Sri Lanka and Tanzania- English is the language of tertiary instruction but French is used in their everyday’s living. 3. Gender- it is also a barrier in the education of tertiary level.
Gender differences in tertiary enrollment in some of the countries are very visible as shown in the table: Gender Disparity in Enrollment and Teacher Deployment, Selected Countries, 1997 Region and country| Combined primary- and secondary-level gross enrollment ratio| Tertiary-level students per 1,000 population| Proportion of women in tertiary education (percent)| Share of female teachers (percent)| | female| male| female| male| | Secondary| Tertiary| AfricaBotswanaMadagascarSouth AfricaAsiaCambodiaChinaIndiaIndonesiaKuwaitYemen, Rep.
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Latin AmericaBrazilColombiaGuyanaIndustrial CountriesAustriaNew ZealandUnited States| 935140689562796834—–898710210899| 905147869881856990—–8785104105100| 5. 51. 614. 60. 33. 34. 88. 125. 91. 111. 718. 28. 928. 249. 958. 4| 6. 41. 915. 91. 76. 17. 915. 219. 37. 310. 117. 110. 231. 340. 148. 2| 47454816–36356213535248485656| 43–642736—3754——4862555756| 28293717———-382831264039| Source: United Nations (2000) Under the gender inequalities, it includes also the lodging or location of nstitutions. Universities are typically located in urban areas limiting access for rural female students since families may be less inclined to permit daughters than sons to live outside the home in mixed-gender environment in urban areas. 4. Family Income- The major determinants of inequality in tertiary education. -In the availability of free tertiary education, still families with high income are the ones who have the higher chance or opportunity for free tertiary education. The children of high and middle income families who can afford to cost of high quality private secondary schools are usually better prepared to pass the public university entrance examination giving access to free higher education. -Families who can afford private tutoring in secondary level have better chance in competitive entrance examination that will avail their children for free tertiary education. The raised of fees in tertiary level made a noticeable decrease in the enrollment that is being felt not only in the Philippines but in other developing and transition countries.
Remedies/Actions made by different countries to achieve equality in tertiary education. * In India despite special provision free tertiary education and reservation of places for students from scheduled castes and tribes, The actual percentage of enrolled students from this groups are still low because of the proportionally small number of minority students who completed primary and secondary education. * In the Philippines the free tertiary education are mostly availed by those students with a families of higher income that afford them of high quality education of private school that made a better chance for entrance examination. In South Africa the affirmative actions are still to be fully accessed whether successful or not, that is the admission of deserving black applicants who have not been given an adequate opportunity to demonstrate their ability to succeed. * Actions were also made in the inequality of the women from men in the tertiary level in Africa: In Ghana and Uganda – they gave bonus points for women in taking admission examination so that more of them pass the cut off points.
Evidently from that action enrollment of women in tertiary level increase from 27- 34 %. In Uganda and 21-27% in Ghana. In Tanzania, instead of giving bonus points they give a six- week remedial course for the women to give them a chance to pass the admission examinations . Inequalities in the education of tertiary level is a problem since time immemorial, but countries can do positive actions to eradicate the problem or to decrease if not to completely solve it.
Focusing on financial aid such as scholarships, grants, and students Educational loans seem to be more effective form of equity interventions for capable aspirants from minority or under privileged populations. In addition stronger efforts must clearly be made mush earlier in a student’s educational career, particularly at the primary and secondary level, so that all students have equal opportunity to compete for entry to tertiary education. Gina A. Grezula MEM B Problems of Quality and Relevance
Although there are exceptions, the quality and relevance of research, teaching, and learning have tended to decline in public tertiary education institutions in developing countries. Many universities operate with overcrowded and deteriorating physical facilities, limited and obsolete library resources, insufficient equipment and instructional materials, outdated curricula, unqualified teaching staff, poorly prepared secondary students, and an absence of academic rigor and systematic evaluation of performance.
Similar conditions can be found in many of the new private universities and other tertiary institutions that have emerged in many countries, especially in those that lack a formal system for licensing or accrediting new institutions. In the formerly socialist countries of Eastern Europe and Central Asia, drastic reductions in public funding are jeopardizing the quality and sustainability of existing programs and even the survival of entire institutions. In many countries the poor quality of teacher training programs has detrimental effects on the quality of learning in primary and secondary education.
Weak secondary education and scienti? c literacy, in turn, do not arm high school graduates with the necessary skills for successful tertiary-level studies. Most universities in developing nations function at the periphery of the international scienti? c community, unable to participate in the production and adaptation of knowledge necessary to confront their countries’ most important economic and social problems. Although few countries have exhaustive data to document the depth of the problem systematically, in countries where information is available the situation is alarming.
For example, in 1995 a task force on higher education in the Philippines concluded, after reviewing information on critical education inputs and the results of professional examinations for the 1,316 existing tertiary education institutions, that only 9 universities and 2 colleges in the country were comparable in quality to international institutions. In India highly regarded programs such as those of the Indian Institutes of Technology exist side by side with scienti? c and technical programs of poor quality and relevance.
Even Russia, once a world leader in advanced science and technology fields such as theoretical physics, nuclear technology, and space technologies, has seen a collapse of its R&D sector. As reported in a recent OECD publication, in Russia “? nancial crises, decaying equipment, unemployment and higher wages in other sectors drove large numbers of researchers . . . away from science and technology” (Cervantes and Malkin 2001). In both public and private institutions the lack of full-time quali? ed teachers is an important contributor to poor quality.
In Latin America, for example, the share of professors with doctoral degrees teaching in public universities is less than 6 percent, and the share with a master’s degree is less than 26 percent. More than 60 percent of the teachers in the public sector work part-time; in the private universities the proportion is as high as 86 percent (Garcia Guadilla 1998). In the Philippines only 7 percent of the professors teaching in tertiary education institutions hold Ph. D. s; 26 percent have master’s degrees. Expansion and diversi? ation of tertiary education systems has often led to internal brain drain because low-paid professors at public institutions seek second and third jobs in extramural positions such as teaching at better-paying private institutes and colleges. As colleges, universities, and scienti? c academies in transition countries struggle to adapt to the new realities of a market economy, they are hampered by a fragmented institutional structure, characterized by a large number of small, specialized institutions and a few big universities that have a near-monopoly on teaching at high academic levels.
The small institutions are not able to diversify their programs and compete effectively, and the large, most prestigious universities are often too protected by regulations and have no incentives to engage in innovation. Hungary is unique in Eastern Europe; there, a centrally initiated merger plan has reduced the number of public institutions from more than 70 to fewer than 20. In spite of the global trend toward market expansion of tertiary education, governmental and institutional responses are not always favorable to the new tendencies.
For example when countries expand tertiary education haphazardly to meet increasing social demand, there is a high risk of graduate unemployment. (To mention just two countries in different regions, in Nigeria graduate unemployment is 22 percent, and in Sri Lanka it is 35 percent. ) In many countries the mismatch between the pro? le of graduates and labor market demands is most apparent among graduates in the social sciences and humanities. The Republic of Yemen, for instance, has an oversupply of liberal arts graduates, and their skills do not meet the needs of the economy.
On the faculty side, this can lead to an oversupply of teachers of nonscienti? c subjects. Tertiary education institutions often lack adequate labor market information to guide prospective students, parents, and employers. In many countries of Africa the toll of HIV/AIDS is changing tertiary education institutions in tragic ways. At the University of Nairobi, an estimated 20 to 30 percent of the 20,000 students are HIV positive (Bollag 2001; Kelly 2001), and in South Africa infection rates for undergraduate students have reportedly reached 33 percent (ACU 2001).
Not only have students been directly affected by the pandemic, whether suffering from the disease themselves or caring for someone at home; so too have the faculty and administration. In some instances HIV/AIDS has robbed colleges and universities of their instructors and other personnel, crippling the institutions and further reducing the countries’ development opportunities, let alone their capacity to produce local leaders, civil servants, and trained intellectuals.
Zambia’s Copperbelt University is said to have lost approximately 20 staff members in 2001, and Kenyatta University in Nairobi estimates that it lost 1 staff member or student per month during the same period. Problems of quality and relevance are not con? ned to traditional universities. Even in countries that have diversi? ed the structure of tertiary education, relevance can become a serious issue in the absence of close linkages between tertiary education institutions and the labor market. Jordan, for instance, has actively encouraged the development of public and rivate community colleges. Nevertheless, the status, quality, and relevance of these institutions have become so problematic that the country experienced a decline in community college enrollment from 41,000 in 1990–91 to 23,000 in 1995–96. Lack of access to the global knowledge pool and the international academic environment is a growing issue. In many countries poor command of foreign languages among staff and students complicates access to textbooks and the Internet, especially at the graduate level.
In countries such as Malaysia and Sri Lanka that had opted for the use of the national language in tertiary education, officials are now considering reversing this policy to improve the quality of tertiary education, especially in the basic and applied sciences. Many countries that experienced a doubling or tripling of tertiary enrollments and increased participation rates for young people in recent decades have seen the negative effects of rapid expansion on quality. Issues of quality assurance and quality enhancement have become a major focus of attention (El-Khawas, DePietro-Jurand, and HolmNielsen 1998).
Many governments, whatever the size and stage of development of their tertiary education sectors, have decided that traditional academic controls are inadequate for dealing with today’s challenges and that more explicit quality assurance systems are needed. Countries differ in their approaches to quality promotion. Some have taken steps to strengthen quality by introducing new reporting requirements or other mechanisms of management control. In Argentina the authorities have introduced quality assurance mechanisms that depend on an enhanced information and evaluation system and new rules for funding public universities.
About 20 transition and developing countries have developed accreditation systems, while others have established evaluation committees or agencies that carry out external reviews. In many cases independent bodies have been established. While the most common setup is a single national agency, in some countries, such as Colombia and Mexico, separate agencies are responsible for different institutions, regions, purposes, and types of academic program. Such variation in the approaches to quality assurance bodies re? cts political and cultural preferences within each country, differences in government leadership, and the varying stages of development of tertiary education sectors. The scope of responsibilities given to quality assurance systems has varied widely. Scotland and England, for example, have procedures for monitoring teaching effectiveness, while Hong Kong (China) is focusing on high-quality management processes. Some countries, such as Chile, have established systems for licensing new institutions and certifying educational credentials.
Others have directed their efforts toward rewarding research productivity, either of individual scholars (as in Mexico) or of entire academic departments (as in the United Kingdom). There is also wide variation in the extent to which quality assurance agencies have managed to address issues related to student transfer and to study abroad. Countries and agencies also differ in their concerns arising from the expansion of new modes of educational delivery, including video-based education, interactive transmission to remote sites, and, most recently, Internet-based learning.
MARIFE F. GAN MEM B Change-Resistant Governance Structures and Rigid Management Practices In many countries, the governance structure and management traditions of public tertiary institutions are characterized by rigidities and a total lack of flexibility which inhibits any type of reform or innovation. In the name of academic freedom, institutions (and their individual constituents, faculty, administrators and students) frequently operate with limited accountability for their use of public resources or for the quality of their outputs (e. . , graduates, research). Ingrained institutional cultures, together with poor management practices and lack of accountability, explain some of the inefficiency dimensions identified earlier. The time-honored committee approach to management in universities suffers from lengthy, sometimes politically- laden, consensus-based decision making. It often lacks the agility for effective interaction with a surrounding corporate culture. The ownership of tertiary institutions has often shifted from clients, e. g. society and students, to staff.
The reason d’etre for some institutions has become providing employment and benefits for staff rather than being educational establishments geared towards the needs of the students. Such systems are rigorously guarded by cadres of academic leaders represented in academic councils who operate within a framework of institutional autonomy that is almost exclusively accountable to staff and academics. Academic leaders such as rectors, deans and heads of departments are not trained in management of large complex institutions.
In many public universities in Latin America and Eastern Europe, reform-oriented rectors stand little chances of getting elected because they are perceived as a threat to established practices. When there is a change of rector, the entire management team is changed with the ensuing loss of institutional continuity. Often the institutional support systems do not provide guidance in terms of 12 monitoring and evaluation of the institutions’ own performance. Few institutions have a governance structure allowing for the participation of representatives of employers and civil society.
Universities in countries as diverse as Russia, Bangladesh and Bolivia have no Boards of Trustees that would constitute an explicit external accountability channel. Reliance on performance indicators as management and planning tools is not a common practice in most countries. At the national level a stalemate often exists between academically powerful rectors conferences or councils and governments that continue to negotiate line item budgets seldom linked to institutional performance or national strategies, but generally reflect the needs of regional constituencies.
This leads to a political rather than a professional system of management and governance. The consequence is a deficient governance system lacking flexibility and innovative capacity because programs are developed to serve the needs of existing staff rather than the country’s development goals, and lack of programmatic accountability because academic autonomy is not paired with financial and legal responsibility. In Brazil, the Law of Isonomy establishes uniform salaries for all federal jobs including those in the federal universities.
Prolonged procedures at the level of the ministries of finance and education often cause delays in transfer of funds to tertiary education institutions. The purchase of laboratory equipment is also affected by such inefficiencies; by the time the equipment arrives it is often less up to date than originally intended and institutions end up receiving equipment supplies after the courses have taken place. In many countries and institutions, administrative procedures are also rigid when it comes to making changes in academic structure, programs or mode of operation. In Uruguay, for instance, it is only when confronted in the id-1990s with competition from emerging private universities that the venerable University of the Republic–which had exercised a monopoly over higher education in the country for 150 years –started a strategic planning process and considered establishing post-graduate programs for the first time. Another example of institutional inflexibility occurred in Venezuela, where IESA, a dynamic private institute of business administration, had to wait several years to receive the official approval from the Council of Rectors for a new MBA program designed and delivered jointly with the top-rated Harvard Business School.
Japan has also experienced severe institutional management rigidities. In response, the Ministry of Education recently decided to grant national universities corporate status and legal personality with the assurance that the independence of universities would be respected. The aim of this significant gesture was to provide national universities with more flexibility for managing the resources provided them through government grants. This represented a structural adjustment introducing market mechanism and accountability thereby obviates the need for institutions to seek government approval for their management decisions.
In Nicaragua, the recently established University of Mobile from the US state of Alabama has been denied a license to operate by the Council of Rectors keen on protecting the Nicaraguan public universities from foreign competition. In Romania, CODECS, the first distance education institution in that country created in the early 1990s, initially faced difficulty getting recognition of its degrees by the national higher education authorities and opted instead for an alliance with the UK Open University – an institution with degrees recognized by the same Romanian authorities.
At a recent meeting of the US-based International Association of Management Education (April 2000), leaders of business schools expressed alarm at the slow and bureaucratic response of their institutions to technological advances and labor market changes. Eastern Europe and Central Asia also suffer from many similar constraints, but with a different historical context and dynamic. Following the collapse of the state socialist regimes, universities and other tertiary education institutions reclaimed their autonomy from state control. In some cases, protection from government intervention has been included in the newly revised constitutions.
However, this autonomy has rarely been accompanied by corresponding financial authority or improvement in the institutions’ management and strategic planning capabilities. Even university and college leaders have tried to resist the newly gained autonomy for fear of reduced public funding. Further, line- item budgeting and limited control over revenues and savings do not provide incentives to encourage medium- term development strategies. A particular rigidity problem inherited from the Soviet system is the institutional separation of research and teaching, the former being administered and conducted principally in scientific academies.
In countries with a binary system, academic doctoral training is assigned to universities whereas technical and applied (technical and teacher training) programs are assigned to colleges with very limited or no possibilities of partnership or transfer. Such a lack of integration of education and research as well as the lack of articulation between different forms of institution within national systems can seriously compromise the quality and competitiveness of tertiary education in these countries. Finally, tertiary education systems in many countries are not designed to deal with civil constituents.
In some countries students can often muster sufficient political power to block entire systems from functioning over prolonged periods of time. One example of such overwhelming control occurred in 1999 in Mexico where UNAM, the country’s largest university (270,000 students), was forced to closed down for almost an entire year. The cause: a student strike in response to a proposed tuition fee increase from a few dollars to 120 dollars a year. Other countries have seen an alarming increase in campus violence which can be politically motivated (Colombia) or even the result of criminal activities (Bangladesh).
In some countries of Africa, particularly West Africa (Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal), strong academic staff unions have regularly interrupted the academic calendar for a year or more in strike actions designed to win them higher salaries. Such disruptions can severely damage the functioning of the institutions. Another element of distortion is cheating, which seems to have become more widespread in many settings throughout the world. According to the rector of the Georgian Institute of Foreign Affairs, for instance, “… corruption has become practically a total form of existence [in the former republics of the Soviet Union]. Recent allegations of corruption in Chinese college admissions have tainted the objective process of selection of students. In Kenya in February 2002 authorities there claim to have broken up a ring within the Ministry of Education that had been producing and selling bogus university diplomas, polytechnic certificates, exam results, academic transcripts, and even counterfeit identification documents such as passports. Finally, student democracy sometimes works against the academic interests of the very students it is intended to protect.
In some systems extended campaigning and election periods for student or rector office can detract from teaching and learning and lead to inefficiencies rather than to better opportunities and improved education for the students. One example of the potential negative effects of student democracy can be seen in Nepal where classes are regularly suspended for at least a month during student elections time. In many countries, the growing dissatisfaction with interruptions from student politics at public universities has fueled the expansion of private tertiary education.
While the growth in the number of private institutions can often be explained by increased demand for tertiary education, in many instances it is a reaction to the disenchantment with public universities which are perceived to be less attractive because of political agitation and resulting poor academic quality. References: * http://www. usp. ac. fj/worldbank2009/frame/Documents/Publications_global/Challenges_for_higher_ed_systemsEn01. pdf * www. ruforum. org/system/files/WorldBankEducationReport. pdf * http://www. mext. go. jp/english/topics/21plan/010301. htm