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Edited by Roger King, Simon Marginson and Rajani Naidoo
Yann Lebeau and Ebrima Sall INTRODUCTION Influential global organizations such as the World Bank (WB), UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the World Trade Organization (WTO), along with bilateral-aid agencies, major private foundations and more recently regional organizations such as the European Union (EU) have had a pronounced impact on higher education institutions (HEIs) and shaped higher education landscapes in the developing world. The expansion of higher education systems on the basis of the formats of western countries has always raised questions about the relevance of those systems, particularly universities, to the developmental needs of the nations concerned. This chapter highlights the roles played by international agencies in framing higher education policy agendas in developing countries. In order to show how such roles have been influenced by a complex array of contextual factors – some local and others global – the chapter combines historical and institutional perspectives. The main focus of the chapter is on the reflections and policies of two major players in the field since the Second World War, the WB and UNESCO, on the relation between higher education and development. These organizations have dominated the conceptualization of higher education and development, and influenced the main initiatives taken. The WB and UNESCO have exercised more or less influence on other global, regional or local stakeholders. In tracing evolving policy paradigms the chapter outlines the periodization of the initiatives of these agencies: successive, parallel, often convergent, and at times divergent. Neither...
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