Higher education and economic development: the importance of building technological capabilities

Kruss, Glenda and McGrath, Simon and Petersen, Il-Haam and Gastrow, Michael (2015) Higher education and economic development: the importance of building technological capabilities. International Journal of Educational Development, 43 . pp. 22-31. ISSN 0738-0593 (In Press)

[img] PDF - Repository staff only until 22 November 2016. - Requires a PDF viewer such as GSview, Xpdf or Adobe Acrobat Reader
Available under Licence Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.
Download (537kB)


Higher education and development has not been a priority of global policy or research funding in recent decades. Yet, since the millennium, Southern governments have become believers in the global knowledge economy and higher education enrolment growth has been phenomenal. In this paper we offer an original account of how higher education institutions contribute to economic development by drawing on evolutionary economics and the national innovation systems approach.

This offers distinct advantages in conceptualising higher education's developmental role, through its stress on the importance of education, skills, work, innovation and production for economic development. Using these concepts, we examine how well South African higher education is positioned to contribute to economic development through a consideration of two case studies from astronomy and automotives. These highlight the importance of the intersection between global, national, sectoral and spatial dimensions of the education - economic development relationship. We suggest that dynamics at multiple scalar levels work in complex ways to shape possibilities for development. We argue that such an approach offers a way forward for international education and development thinking about the relationship between education, technological innovation, production and development.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in International Journal of Educational Development. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in International Journal of Educational Development, 43 (2015), doi: 10.1016/j.ijedudev.2015.04.011
Keywords: Higher Education, Innovation, Economic Development, Evolutionary Economics
Schools/Departments: University of Nottingham UK Campus > Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Education
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijedudev.2015.04.011
Depositing User: McGrath, Professor Simon
Date Deposited: 08 May 2015 14:25
Last Modified: 15 Sep 2016 21:23
URI: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/28707

Actions (Archive Staff Only)

Edit View Edit View