by Higher Education Strategy Associates (HESA) has documented a dramatic shift in the global higher education world. The report, Higher Education: Institutions, Students and Funding, is analysed by Karen MacGregor in University World News.
The report finds that in recent year there has been a dramatic expansion in higher education in the Global South, with the number of tertiary institutions there increasing from 40,000 to 70,000, According to Alex Usher, President of HESA, much of the growth in the number of students and institutions has been in India. The distribution of students is concentrated in a few countries. About half of the total are in just five countries: Brazil, China, India, Russia, and the USA and 85% are in 40 countries.
The report also found that while there has been an increase in funding throughout the world, this has led to an improvement in quality in the North, where student numbers have been going down but not in the South where they have increased.
Nearly half of all the institutions in the world are university colleges, most of which are in India. In addition, there are 16,388 short-cycle colleges, such as US community colleges, 13,027 specialised universities 9,726 comprehensive universities, and 7,666 hybrid institutions.
The report indicates that current global rankings are relevant for only a small fraction of the world’s higher education institutions. Even Webometrics, the most inclusive, covers only about 30,000.