The Development Impact of Higher Education in Nigeria
36 Pages Posted: 19 Aug 2012
Date Written: August 19, 2012
Education in Nigeria is more of a public enterprise that has witnessed government complete and dynamic intervention and active participation (Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1981). It is the view of the formulated education policy in Nigeria to use education as a vehicle in achieving national development. Education being an instrument of change, in Nigeria education policy has been a product of evolution through series of historical developments. Improving the education is not only a goal in itself for a better quality of life but also its positive impact on the economic development of a country is far-reaching. The provision of education is a key element of a policy to promote broad-based economic growth. The main asset of the poor is clearly their labour and education improves the productivity and earnings of workers. Education is considered a major remedy for many problems faced by developing countries. For example, high fertility rates are adding to population pressures in several countries. From a global perspective, economic and social development is increasingly driven by the advancement and application of knowledge. Education, in general, and higher education in particular, are fundamental to the construction of a knowledge economy and society in all nations (World Bank, 1999). Yet the potential of higher education systems in developing countries to fulfil this responsibility is frequently thwarted by long-standing problems of finance, efficiency, equity, quality and governance. As a result, developing economies cannot be said to be reaping the benefits of a knowledge economy. It, therefore, become imperative with the aid of the Earnings Model developed by Mincer (1974) which is founded on the Theory of Investment in Human Capital, as well as the model by Moretti (2002) for social returns to education, to assess the development impact of higher education in Nigeria with a view to establishing the link between Nigeria’s higher educational system and her economic growth, as well as explicating how Nigeria can participate in the global knowledge economy. The result also reveals that a well educated labour force possessed a positive and significant impact on economic growth through factor accumulation and on the evolution of total factor productivity. Also, the amount of government expenditure on education significantly influences output per worker growth.
Keywords: education, economic and social development, finance, efficiency
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