Educating Higher Education Students for Innovative Economies: What International Data Tell Us

  • Francesco Avvisati Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)
  • Gwenaël Jacotin Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)
  • Stéphan Vincent-Lancrin Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)
Keywords: higher education, innovation, pedagogy, skills, international comparison, qualifications, system evaluation, curriculum

Abstract

As innovation increasingly fuels economic growth, higher education institutions and systems face the challenge of equipping students with the skills required by innovative economies. Using two international surveys of tertiary education graduates five years after their graduation, we show that the innovative, tertiary-educated workforce comprises a mix of graduates holding degrees from all disciplines. The contribution to innovation of different graduates varies by type of innovation. When they assess the strong and weak points of their university education, graduates give a mixed picture of the quality of the education they have received. We then link the propensity to participate in innovation to the relative emphasis on theory and practice in university programmes and conclude by highlighting the importance of a competence-based approach to curriculum and pedagogy

Published online: 4 July 2014

Author Biographies

Francesco Avvisati, Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)

Francesco Avvisati works at the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). He joined the OECD in 2010 to work on analysis, research and coordination of the Innovation Strategy for Education and Training Project, after completing a PhD at the Paris School of Economics. His doctoral research centred on the benefits of parental involvement programmes for school achievement and behaviour of middle school students. Prior to joining the OECD, Dr. Avvisati worked as a researcher and lecturer at the Paris School of Economics, at the French Ministry of Labour, and was a member of the “Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab — Europe”.

Gwenaël Jacotin, Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)

Gwenaël Jacotin works at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Directorate for Education and Skills. He joined the OECD in 2011 after completing a Masters’ degree in Economics at the Paris School of Economics (PSE), France. His Master’s research thesis looked at the effects of French zoning enrolment regulation on the success and drop out of students in their first year of university.

Stéphan Vincent-Lancrin, Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)

Stéphan Vincent-Lancrin is a Senior Analyst and Project Manager at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). He is responsible for two projects of the OECD Centre for Educational Research and Innovation (CERI): “Innovation Strategy for education and training” and “The future of higher education”. His current interests cover: the nature and level of education and skills that are in demand in innovative societies; the innovation ecology in education (including higher education); the measurement of innovation in education. Before joining the OECD, he worked for 7 years as lecturer and researcher in Economics at the University of Paris-Nanterre and the London School of Economics. Dr. Vincent-Lancrin is a Marie Curie Fellow and a 2007 Fulbright New Century Scholar. He holds a PhD in Economics from University of Paris-Nanterre (France).

References

Allen, Jim, and Rolf van der Velden, eds. The Flexible Professional in the Knowledge Society. New Challenges for Higher Education. Dordrecht: Springer, 2011.

Arum, Richard, and Josipa Roksa. Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2011.

Carnevale, Anthony P., Nicole Smith, and Michelle Melton. “STEM.” Georgetown University Center for Education and the Workforce, 2011. http://cew.georgetown.edu/stem.

Hunt, Jennifer, Jean-Philippe Garant, Hannah Herman, and David J. Munroe. “Why Don’t Women Patent?” NBER Working Paper No. 17888. Cambridge, MA: National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), 2012. http://www.nber.org/papers/w17888.

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Higher Education to 2030, Volume 2, Globalisation. Edited by Stéphan Vincent-Lancrin and Kiira Kärkkäinen. Paris: OECD Publishing, 2009.

_____. The OECD Innovation Strategy: A Head Start on Tomorrow. Paris: OECD Publishing, 2010.

_____. Assessment of Higher Education Learning Outcomes (AHELO): Feasibility Study Report. Volume 2 – Data Analysis and National Experiences. Paris: OECD Publishing, 2013.

Paul, Jean-Jacques. “Graduates in the Knowledge and Innovation Society.” In The Flexible Professional in the Knowledge Society. New Challenges for Higher Education, edited by Jim Allen and Rolf van der Velden. 111-37. Dordrecht: Springer, 2011.

Saavedra, Anna Rosefsky, and Juan Esteban Saavedra. “Do Colleges Cultivate Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, Writing and Interpersonal Skills?” Economics of Education Review 30, no. 6 (2011): 1516-26.

Toner, Phillip. “Workforce Skills and Innovation: An Overview of Major Themes in the Literature.” OECD Education Working Paper no. 55. Paris: OECD Publishing, 2011. http://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/education/workforce-skills-and-innovation_5kgk6hpnhxzq-en.

Published
2014-04-07
How to Cite
Avvisati, Francesco, Gwenaël Jacotin, and Stéphan Vincent-Lancrin. 2014. “Educating Higher Education Students for Innovative Economies: What International Data Tell Us”. Tuning Journal for Higher Education 1 (1), 223-40. https://doi.org/10.18543/tjhe-1(1)-2013pp223-240.