Trends in diversification of post-secondary education

Varghese, N.V.
IIEP research papers
33 p.
Post-secondary non-tertiary

Online version

About the publication

Higher education has traditionally been associated with university education. A growing demand for higher education necessitated its diversification. Post-secondary education (PSE) includes a diversified system of institutions, providers, and study programmes offered after the secondary level of education. The expansion and the diversification of the system moved hand in hand, and it denoted a move from elite to mass higher education. The non-university sector is expanding rather quickly in many countries. Based on a review of PSE in several countries, this paper adopted a classification of diversifi cation of PSE institutions into four categories: (1) universities, (2) colleges/non-university institutions, (3) tertiary short-cycle institutions, and (4) post-secondary non-tertiary institutions. It can be argued that diversification is a process necessarily associated with the expansion of a system, on the one hand, and labour markets, on the other. Diversification can help governments transfer the financial burden of education from the state to households. This paper argues that while it is necessary to diversify PSE and to cater to immediate skill requirements, it is important to continue to reinforce and protect the contribution of higher education to the long-term goals of economic development and social equity.