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ERIC Number: ED519577
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Sep
Pages: 37
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
Measuring Up Internationally: Developing Skills and Knowledge for the Global Knowledge Economy. National Center Report #06-7
Wagner, Alan
National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education
Higher education globalizes: its potential contributions are now seen as a crucial component of cross-border economic competitiveness. Accumulating evidence suggests that a highly qualified workforce contributes substantially to a nation's economic competitiveness, particularly when a large share of the workforce has acquired skills and knowledge through higher education. These findings apply to states as well as nations; those states that improve opportunities for education and training beyond high school advance their residents' employment prospects and the competitiveness of their overall workforce. This report concludes that although the United States continues to rank among the leaders in comparisons of performance in higher education, its leadership position has eroded. No longer the clear-cut top performer in participation and completion rates, the United States has been joined by other countries that have expanded access to and completion of higher education programs. Further, comparisons of direct measures of learning show the United States as trailing the leading countries. As a result, as U.S. states strengthen higher education opportunity and outcomes, they may find that other countries also have stronger or improving performance levels. Finally, all countries face challenges in reducing gaps in higher education participation, completion, and learning by income, social class, region, or ethnic group. In Korea and Finland, among other countries, rising rates of attainment at the high school level suggest that historic barriers to access may be falling. In these countries, proficiency levels of school children imply strong foundations for learning. The need to reduce inequality in access, completion, and learning is becoming increasingly important as the workforce demands in many countries increase--as is the case in individual U.S. states and in the United States as a whole. How well each nation responds to this challenge promises to be a key policy question in strengthening the knowledge and skills of its population and the competitiveness of its workforce. (Contains 10 tables and 18 footnotes.)
National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education. 152 North Third Street Suite 705, San Jose, CA 95112. Tel: 408-271-2699; Fax: 408-271-2697; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: High Schools; Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education