The Role of Skill Development and Higher Education in Economic Growth

For shaping the future of state, government is promoting skill development centers and higher education centers. Some major expansion has been done by state government in the field of higher education. Engineering colleges have become the prime center for nurturing talent. Top engineering colleges are busy in producing talented engineers year after year.

Role of Higher Education: Higher education plays a key role in the development of any country, state or region. The chance of economic growth of any state is as good as the pool of their skilled people. No plan of economic development can succeed without skilled people, as economic development depends a lot on the quality of resources they have.

When it comes to higher education shaping the economic development in any state, engineers play a key role. Since infrastructure development is a key thing for economic boost of the state; hence, engineers become vital as they play key role in the construction of roads, bridges, hospitals, schools, railway tracks and many other things.

Higher education also helps in shaping the future of people as skilled people not only get good employment opportunities they also create employment for other as well. Skill development program has helped people to become self-reliant and financially independent.

Roles of Higher Education Institutions: Role of educational institution has changed a lot over the years, unlike the earlier years where most colleges and universities focused on traditional courses, nowadays these higher education institutions offer different programs which not only help them develop certain skill sets but also these programs are designed according to the need of corporate sector, the aim is to groom youngsters in such a way that they become industry ready.

For years Indian educational system was considered as a system which could only produces clerks and it has changed a lot. Nowadays engineering and management has become the preferred choice of the youngsters. Higher education institutions also focusing in developing more entrepreneurs these days in this way they help state government to resolve the issue of unemployment. Skilled people create their own employment rather than someone who holds a degree and wait for someone else to provide him or herself employment.

The number of educational institutions is growing every year with private institutions and universities making their impact as well. With growing demand of quality engineers and management graduates number of institution and universities has started mushrooming. One needs to be very careful while selecting from engineering colleges.

Students Can Choose Countries Other Than the US or UK for Higher Education

Utrecht University, Netherlands is ranked at 86th position by education advisory Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings, 2017. Apart from being affordable, the campus is an abode for students all around the world.

Phil Baty, World University Ranking Editor at Times Higher Education, said that cities such as Utrecht, Cape Town of Africa and Daejeon of South Korea have varsities in the Top 100 and this shows about the options students have. Though the rankings are topped by the US and UK but there are countries from Asia and Europe on the list also.

The Asian and European countries include Universities from Germany, Sweden, Belgium, Japan, South Korea, Switzerland and Finland. The University of Hong Kong is ranked at 43th position, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) in South Korea is at 89th position and University of Cape Town in South Africa at 148th position among the top 150 universities on the list.

RSS Mani, Vice President of Institutional Development at the ITM Group of Institutions, said that environmental location of the university should not matter much. Rather students shall be more concerned about whether the university is reliable, the courses it offers, whether the country is immune to political issues and whether the students can adapt properly or not.

According to Education Consultants, the courses in Sweden are very well-planned and faculty is also of good quality.

Sweden has five globally acclaimed universities with a huge strength of foreign students. Karolinska Institute in Stockholm is ranked 28th by Times Higher Education ranking. It has ample scope for research, English courses and many students across the world.

According to a consultancy service, if a student wants to learn subjects like Genetics, Molecular Biology or Agricultural Engineering, Finland is a place to be. It offers an eighteen month work permit after completion of the course, trouble-free immigration policies and a better shared culture. The University of Helsinki, Finland is ranked at 91th position on the Times Higher Education list.

Chris Parr, Digital and Communities Editor at Times Higher Education World University Rankings stated that Hong Kong has six of the universities in the top 500 Times Higher Education ranking list and most of the university courses are taught in English and the universities have well-built associations with the employers which makes getting a job easy after completion of the degree.

According to an online counseling firm, China provides good job prospects to foreign students in Multinational Companies (MNCs).

For students who are interested in making a career in the field of photography or graphic design, Poland is the ultimate destination. The courses are taught by well-acclaimed professionals around the globe and the courses are affordable also

South Korea is the place for IT courses and jobs. Though the cost of tuition may be relatively low and the scholarship programmes are easy to avail but cost of living is expensive in some of the European countries. Looking for low-cost lodging in Stockholm takes time.

The Times Higher Education Editor highlighted the fact that most of the universities are still in the run of etablishing their status globally. Employers are thoughtful to a degree from a renowned institution in a country which is known for its high- quality education like the US or UK than they would do to a degree from a university that possibly they might have not heard of earlier.

Experts say that because of smaller Indian student communities in the unusual countries, one might feel like a stranger especially if English is not their first language. Initially understanding new culture is difficult but gradually one gets adapted to it.

The Big Squeeze – The Coming Crisis in American Higher Education

Most Americans already know that a crisis is happening in American higher education.

Tuition costs are surging, putting a college education out of reach for many Americans. College grads are defaulting on college loans. They cannot find jobs in the fields they trained for.

Those trends make the news every day. Yet they are only the most visible signs of deeper troubles that threaten to destabilize American higher education in the coming years. Let’s take a closer look.

Coming Crisis: Colleges Will Price themselves Further and Further Out of Reach

According to the U.S. Census, the median income of U.S. households in 1970 was $8,390. By 1989, it has risen to $28,910. And by 2005, it was $46,326. Those figures indicate that Americans today are earning about 5.5 the salaries that they earned 40 years ago.

How much have college costs grown? According to the Congressional Budget Office, the average yearly tuition at a four-year public American university in 1970 was $480. The average tuition at a four-year private college or university was a lot higher, at $1,980.

Today, according to data from The College Board, tuition and fees at four-year state universities currently average $7,020 per year for students who live in- state, and $11,528 for students who live out of state. And private four-year colleges charge an average or $26,273 per year in tuition and fees.

So tuition costs are rising at a rate that far outpaces the growth in income of the typical American household. While income has grown by a factor of 5.5 in the last 40 years, the cost of attending a state college has increased by a factor of 15 for in-state students and by a factor of about 24 for out-of-state students. And the cost of attending a private college has increased by a factor of more than 13.

And colleges are planning tuition increases for the coming years. It’s the big squeeze. For many American families, the dream of sending a child to college is slipping even further out of reach.

Crisis: American Colleges Will Close

Endowments at American colleges and universities have dropped dramatically during the current economic downturn. At the University of Delaware, the endowment shrank by 24.8%. Gettysburg College lost 25.3%, and the list goes on and on.

Top-tier, well-funded institutions will weather the crisis. But a growing number of smaller American private colleges and universities are already finding it difficult to attract enough tuition-paying undergraduates to keep their doors open. With increasing frequency, these schools are making their troubles known.

There’s another reason that colleges are in trouble. With the lack of jobs awaiting graduates, it is difficult to convince many American families that it is really worth paying $30,000, $40,000 or more a year to earn a college degree.

Crisis: American Students Will Be Unable to Train for Available Jobs

The days of the English major, the philosophy major, and the general studies major may be numbered, as more students seek training for jobs that they can actually find after graduation. They are training as medical technicians, computer programmers and air conditioning technicians. Yet just as students are looking for practical training, the sources of that training are harder to find, for a few reasons.

First, community colleges are no longer offering as much practical training as they once did. To attract more students, many have modified their course offerings to become more like private institutions. While President Obama has pledged to invest heavily in community colleges and upgrade their training programs, the changes are long overdue.

Second, for-profit colleges and universities are in trouble. A number of them are being investigated right now by Congress because of shady recruiting practices and abuse of government programs for funding higher education. It seems likely that a number of for-profit schools will shut their doors.

The result? American students will find it harder to find schools that offer the practical training they need to secure jobs.

And we all know what can happen when a country’s workers are under-trained, compared to workers in other countries. The result will likely be further damage to the American economy and business.

What Will Save American Higher Education?

The trends outlined above are grim. Yet the situation is far from hopeless. A number of positive trends are at work that point to the possibility that American higher education is not going away, but simply changing.

* America still has the strongest educational infrastructure in the world. We simply have more colleges and universities than any other country. Many of these institutions are already reinventing themselves by offering distance learning options, three-year degree programs and other incentives for modern learners.

* Americans’ desire for education remains strong. With so many of our citizens hungering for learning, there is ample incentive for colleges to develop new learning options for them.

* The timeline of education has changed. More Americans are returning to college at all stages of life. The result is that a larger pool of Americans who are interested in higher education.

* Distance learning is moving into the forefront of American higher education. As Bill Gates predicted on August 9 in his talk at the Techonomy conference in Lake Tahoe, it is already possible to deliver a college education over the Internet for as little as $2,000.

In the end, we predict that American ingenuity will not only survive these crises, but turn America into a new kind of community of learners.