Skills beyond school

Higher Education to 2030 (Vol. 1): Demography


Executive summary  | Table of contents | Chapter 2 | Chapter 4 | Chapter 10

How to obtain this publication | Related material


ISBN: 9789264040656
Publication: 3/12/2008


Higher Education to 2030 (Vol. 1): Demography

Demographic changes increasingly shape social policies as most OECD populations are ageing and include more migrants and “minorities”. Japan and Korea have already started to see their enrolments in tertiary education decline, but other countries like Turkey and Mexico can still expect a boom. What might be the future impact of demographic changes on tertiary education systems and institutions? How can and do countries address these changes? What opportunities and challenges do they bring?

Drawing on trend data and projections, this book takes an in-depth look at these important questions from both a qualitative and quantitative standpoint. Issues covered include the impact of demographic changes on student enrolment, educational attainment, academic staff and policy choices. Particular attention is given to how access policies determine the demographics of tertiary education, notably by examining access to higher education for disabled and migrant students. The book covers most OECD countries, illustrating the analysis with specific examples from France, Japan, Korea and the United States.

Higher Education to 2030 (Vol. 1): Demography will be of interest to higher education stakeholders such as policy makers, managers of higher education institutions, academics, researchers, and students – as well as to all readers interested in social issues.It is the first volume in the Higher Education to 2030 series, which takes a forward-looking approach to analysing the impact of various contemporary trends on tertiary education systems. Two further volumes will examine the effects of technology and globalisation, and a fourth will present scenarios for the future of higher education systems.

Executive summary


This volume of Higher Education to 2030 discusses trends and prospects regarding changes in the population of students, academic teaching staff and graduates in higher education in OECD countries, from both a quantitative and qualitative standpoint. It examines in particular the link between these developments, demographic changes and higher education policy. The book is thus concerned no less with trends in the size of higher education systems than with changes affecting the academic teaching profession. It also shows how changes in policies for students with disabilities might eventually transform conventional attitudes towards access to higher education. And it examines too how the growth of migration might lead to the emergence of new issues concerning inequality. Even though demographic changes raise numerous questions for higher education policy, they do not pose major new problems as is often thought. The central future issues for many countries will be of a qualitative nature, such as inequalities in access and participation, the diversity of paths, provision and institutions in higher education, the possible social marginalisation of those persons least educated, and the need to rethink the role of the academic profession.

Table of contents

  • Chapter 1: Are Long-term Demographic Forecasts Possible? Turning Points and Trends
  • Chapter 2: What is the Impact of Demography on Higher Education Systems? A Forward-looking Approach for OECD Countries
  • Chapter 3: Demography and Higher Education - The Impact on the Age Structure of Staff and Human Capital Formation
  • Chapter 4: Back to the Future? The Academic Professions in the 21st Century
  • Chapter 5: Student Enrolments and Graduation Trends in the OECD Area - What Can we Learn from International Statistics?
  • Chapter 6: Access to Post-secondary Education in the United States - Past, Present, and Future Perspectives
  • Chapter 7: The Future of Higher Education in the Context of a Shrinking Student Population - Policy Challenges for Japan and Korea
  • Chapter 8: Adapting Higher Education to the Needs of Disabled Students - Developments, Challenges and Prospects
  • Chapter 9: Immigration and Access to Tertiary Education - Integration or Marginalisation
  • Chapter 10: The Reversal of Gender Inequalities in Higher Education - An On-going Trend


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Higher Education to 2030, Volume 2: Globalisation




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