Globalization and the Public Provision of Higher Education: Empirical Evidence from Selected Countries
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AbstractThis research study was designed to examine the relationship between globalization as measured by the KOF index, its related forces (economic, political, cultural and technological) and the public provision of higher education. This study is important since globalization is increasingly being associated with changes in critical aspects of higher education. The public provision of education was measured by government expenditure and educational outcomes; that is participation, gender equity and attainment. The study utilized a non-experimental quantitative research design. Data collected from secondary sources for 139 selected countries was analyzed. The countries were geographically distributed and included both developed and developing countries. The choice of countries for inclusion in the study was based on data availability. The data, which was sourced from international organizations such as the United Nations and the World Bank, were examined for different time periods using five year averages. The period covered was 1970 to 2009. The relationship between globalization and the higher education variables was examined using cross sectional regression analysis while controlling for economic, political and demographic factors. The major findings of the study are as follows. For the two spending models, only one revealed a significant relationship between globalization and education with the R2 s ranging from .222 to .448 over the period. This relationship was however negative indicating that as globalization increased, spending on higher education declined. However, for the education outcomes models, this relationship was not significant. For the sub-indices of globalization, only the political dimension showed significance as shown in the spending model. Political globalization was significant for six periods with R2 s ranging from .31 to .52. The study concluded that the results are mixed for both the spending and outcome models. It also found no robust effects of globalization on government education provision. This finding is not surprising given the existing literature which sees mixed results on the social impact of globalization.