The Economics of Selective Knowledge

-------------------------------------------------------------The Lisbon Council: In a landmark study, OECD education expert details poor performance of European education. Europe risks falling further behind in 21st century economic race unless it manages to make skills and knowledge a top priority. The OECD: The economics of knowledge: Why education is key to Europe's success. In a study released by the Lisbon Council, OECD education expert Andreas Schleicher shows that educational progress in Europe is lagging behind, in terms of the quality and quantity of its graduates, in openness of its education systems to students from all social…Read more …

Outsourcing Drug Trials

Outsourcing has become a well-tried practice in the global economy. Outsourcing manufacturing is a strategy that has become very widespread. Outsourcing services, illustrated by India's call-centers, is more recent but has become common practice for many western multinationals. Even the more knowledge intensive services like accounting are now often being provided overseas. India currently is even becoming increasingly a recipient of outsourced R&D. Even waste management and recycling is outsourced nowadays. But this article in Wired Magazine gave me another view on outsourcing, and one that increasingly worried me reading through the article.…Read more …

Globalisation: 99 Definitions & Perspectives

While I was looking for a file in my computer I stumbled upon an old document. It's a file with a list of different perspectives and definitions of globalisation that I assembled for my doctoral research some years ago. I thought it might be of useful for students and scholars that are trying to grasp the possible meanings of the term. It is a list of 99 (give or take a few) views from different disciplines and different sectors. Most are from academics, ranging from anthropologists to economists and from philosophers to business…Read more …

Cold, costly but cutting edge education

The recruitment of international students has become a lucrative business in countries like the US, the UK and Australia. In the UK they are estimated to bring in about 4 billion pounds a year to British universities and some 10 billion to the economy as a whole. With the aging of the population, the UK is worried about the (financial) future of its universities. Non EU international students can be charged higher fees and are therefore seen as a potential solution to these financial problems.There are now over 300,000 foreign students demand from…Read more …

Higher Education, the GATS and the Convention on the High Seas

In recent years there has been a lot of debate on how higher education world-wide will be affected by the General Agreement on Trade and Services (GATS; a treaty within the WTO framework). The GATS makes a distinction between four different modes of supply of services:Cross-border supply is defined to cover services flows from the territory of one Member into the territory of another Member (e.g. distance education programmes offered abroad);Consumption abroad refers to situations where a service consumer (e.g. students go to another country to complete a programme);Commercial presence implies that a…Read more …

Sharon Stone, CEO’s and the post-knowledge economy

Yes…It is that time of the year again. Tomorrow, the global elite will gather again in Davos. To get in the mood I’ve assembled some remarkable quotes on the Word Economic Forum.Peter L. Berger on globalisation:Arguably the most important elite vehicle is the Davos culture, an international culture of business and political leaders. Its basic engine is international business, the same engine that drives economic and technological globalization. But it would be misleading to think of this culture only in terms of those few likely to be invited to Davos; there are millions…Read more …

Knowledge production shifts

I know. A lot can be said against the use of university rankings and even more against their methodologies. That said….the Times Higher education Supplement published their annual ranking of technology universities and institutions last Friday. The ranking is based on peer review assessment and on the number of citations per paper. They created 3 lists: one for technology universities, one for non-university institutions in science and one for non-university institutions in technology. Below are some of the results. In my view there are two important observations:- The stable high positions of Asian…Read more …

No worries! For now….

The Global Competitiveness Index has been released again a couple of days ago. It is compiled by the World Economic Forum and assesses 117 national economies. In this years report the top rankings are occupied by the East Asian tigers, the US and the Nordic countries (could this be because of the ‘aquavit model’?). What rather surprised me was that China and India are ‘only’ on number 49 and 50. All politicians continuously point out that we need to restructure our economies because the Chinese and Indian economies are going to overtake us…Read more …

Global Cosmopolis?

The past days, Singapore seems to be under the spell of Global Entrepolis @ Singapore, a gathering of entrepreneurs, technopreneurs and the ‘venture capital community’. Here, Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong outlined a strategy to power Singapore's economic growth through innovation. The strategy is to enlarge Singapore's economic space through free trade agreements, education, and research and development. "Some people believe in the old adage, 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it'. Here in Singapore, our belief is 'innovate or vegetate'. We break the old mould when faced with a different situation and…Read more …