OECD Report: Success of global education reforms threatened by lack of oversight.

logooecd_en

Released January 19, 2015 – Governments around the world are under growing pressure to improve their education systems. Rising spending is increasingly being matched by reforms to help disadvantaged children, invest in teachers and improve vocational training. But a widespread lack of evaluation of the impact of these reforms could hinder their effectiveness and hurt educational outcomes, according to a new OECD report.

Education Policy Outlook 2015: Making Reforms Happen finds that once new policies are adopted, there is little follow-up. Only around one in 10 of the 450 different reforms put in place between 2008 and 2014 were evaluated for their impact by governments between their launch and the publication of this report.

Measuring policy impact more rigorously and consistently will prove more cost-effective in the long-run, says the OECD. It will also ensure that future reforms are built on policies proven to work over a timeframe independent of political cycles or pressures.

“Too many education reforms are failing to measure success or failure in the classroom,” said Andreas Schleicher, OECD Director for Education and Skills, at the launch of the report at the Education World Forum in London. “While it is encouraging to see a greater focus on outcomes, rather than simply increasing spending, it’s crucial that reforms are given the time to work and their impact is analyzed.”

“Education represents 12.9% of government spending, with total expenditure across the OECD exceeding 2.5 trillion dollars a year, equivalent to the GDP of the United Kingdom,” he added. “This valuable investment must be deployed in the most effective way. Reforms on paper need to translate into better education in our schools and classrooms.”

The report finds a trend of reform priorities converging across the OECD. Of the reforms analyzed, most focused on: supporting disadvantaged children and early childhood care; reforming vocational education systems and building links with employers; improving training and professional development for teachers; and strengthening school evaluation and assessment.

The Future of Japanese Higher Education 2014

Japan

In preparing for a client engagement we assembled three required reads for our team. Our interest is in the future of higher education as it is evolving around the globe. We are also keenly interested in the policy backdrop that shapes a nation’s higher education system. That said this post provides a contemporary context by leading with Japan’s new Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s efforts to strengthen the economic outlook through long term higher education initiative. It ends with a perspective from India commenting on Japans strategic position in higher education in Asia.

Abeducation – A new push for higher education internationalization

by Suvendrini Kakuchi, Univeristy World News 27 June 2013 Issue No:278

Following the much-touted “Abenomics” floated by the administration of Japan’s new Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to revive the country’s stagnant economy, Tokyo last week unveiled “Abeducation” to promote the internationalisation of the country’s higher education.
Abeducation, Abe’s growth strategy for education to develop human resources that can “prevail on the world stage”, is the latest official bid to reconstruct Japan. This is in line with new economic policies such as injecting new funds into the economy and other initiatives to resurrect Japan`s sagging clout in the world.
“Abeducation aims to enhance the globalisation of our higher education institutions that have fallen in international university rankings. It is time to transform Japanese universities to world universities so they can be placed within the top ranking,” Minister of Education Hakubun Shimomura said at a press conference last Tuesday.

Globalization and Higher Education Reforms in Japan: The Obstacles to Greater International Competitiveness

Japan’s universities have experienced a huge number of systemic and organizational reforms over the last 20 years. Amano Ikuo, professor emeritus at the University of Tokyo, looks back on the origins of the reforms as a response to globalization and ahead to the problems that still need to be addressed.— Amano Ikuo March 11, 2014

Another Perspective: Japan continues to be Asian giant in higher education, China closing in

Manash Pratim Gohain, The Times of India Jun 19, 2014.

NEW DELHI: Japan continues it’s dominance in Asian higher education by holding the top position yet again in the Times Higher Education Asia University Rankings 2014, released a few hours ago on Thursday. The country has 20 representatives in the Top 100 table. But breathing down its neck is mainland China, which made significant stride registering 18 of its universities in the list, an increase of three since last rankings.

Look for more Future of Higher Education synopsis posted here. Guest Blog posts on the outlook or future of higher education are welcome.