Education

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    The tale of two Davids (Cameron and Beckham) and our social mobility problem

The tale of two Davids (Cameron and Beckham) and our social mobility problem

One David was born in a terraced house in East London, his father a kitchen fitter, his mother a hairdresser. The other David grew up in an idyllic village in the English countryside, his father a stockbroker, his mother the daughter of a baronet. The first David left school at 16 without any qualifications; the second studied at Eton […]

Universities and industrial strategy in the UK

The UK has a world-leading university sector and this has a key role to play in moving the country onto an inclusive and sustainable growth path. Universities can make important contributions across the five foundations that underpin the government’s industrial strategy:

Universities support the productivity and prospects for ‘people’ through the education of students and the nurturing of researchers.
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The widespread increase in the skills gap across UK regions

Given that the Brexit negotiations are far from reaching a consensus, the potential implications of any deal for skilled migration continue to attract a great deal of attention. Recent research has shown that almost a million EU citizens who work in the UK, many of whom are highly qualified, are planning to leave, all while the UK is already suffering from […]

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    A postgraduate degree protects you against the business cycle

A postgraduate degree protects you against the business cycle

College graduates receive a wage premium over non-college workers. However, both types of workers are subject to similar wage shocks over the business cycle. As the share of workers with postgraduate degrees has doubled since 1980, I compare postgraduates to those who only have bachelor degrees. I document a new fact: in the US, postgraduates experience smaller shocks to […]

Why endorsements may advantage MBA applicants

The graduate school application process can be daunting and highly competitive, particularly in the case of Masters of Business Administration (MBA) programmes. The process starts when candidates submit an application that typically includes their resume, cover letter, essays, transcripts, and standardised test scores. Akin to screening and hiring assessments in many of today’s corporations, applications are then evaluated by […]

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    Investment in education can counter the economic impact of an older population

Investment in education can counter the economic impact of an older population

Population ageing is one of the most important economic and social challenges in the twenty-first century. With increasing life expectancy and falling fertility, the populations of most countries are growing older. Large cohorts are being replaced by relatively smaller but better educated young cohorts, resulting in substantial shifts in the workforce and its age and education composition.

Although these demographic […]

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    Should schools bother with modern human resources management?

Should schools bother with modern human resources management?

For decades, private sector firms have been aware of the benefits they can derive by investing in the management of their employees. Incentivising employees through individual and group performance pay allows firms to attract the best talent and increases worker effort. Fostering employee ‘ownership’ of the production process through team-working, initially pushed by Japanese manufacturing firms like Toyota, are […]

Do apprenticeships increase earnings?

Is there an earnings differential for starting an apprenticeship over and above the pay of young people who have already had a full-time school or college-based education? Our research looks at people who finished their GCSE exams in 2003 and who were therefore 28 years of age in 2015. We use administrative data to follow them from 2003 through […]

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    Analysing the distributional effects of higher education funding reforms in the UK

Analysing the distributional effects of higher education funding reforms in the UK

Over the last two decades, the financing of higher education in England has been transformed. The system has gone from one that offered free-of-charge, full-time undergraduate studies to being one of the most expensive in the OECD. The amount of direct public expenditure on higher education has been reduced from 80 per cent to around 25 per cent (see […]

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    The educational and economic value of embracing people’s mother tongues

The educational and economic value of embracing people’s mother tongues

In Uganda, only 32 per cent of school children are literate in their mother tongue. They grow up in one of the country’s 65 ethnic tribes, each of which has its own language. But from their fourth year at primary school they are taught in the country’s official language, English. Yet research shows that to achieve their full potential […]

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    Investing in a university diploma in Britain is still worth the cost

Investing in a university diploma in Britain is still worth the cost

In a recent article in The Political Quarterly Alan Ware claimed that for most students, higher education was not worth the cost. He claimed that there is no “need” for higher education, that higher education does not result in higher earnings, higher education does not impart useful skills, nor does it facilitate social mobility. In a recent article in The Political Quarterly I evaluated Ware’s claims and […]

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    Students’ university degree classification affect their pay later in life

Students’ university degree classification affect their pay later in life

Since the early 1960s, with developments in the field of human capital research, analysis of the returns to education has established robust evidence of a strong positive association between earnings and years of schooling or level of qualification attained. But there has been little analysis of how returns vary according to the level of academic performance – for example, […]

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    The more universities in a country, the faster its economic growth

The more universities in a country, the faster its economic growth

In 1900, only one in a hundred young people in the world were enrolled at universities, but over the course of the twentieth century this rose to one in five.  It turns out that this enormous expansion of the higher education sector was not just the product of riches – it has helped fuel economic growth.

We compiled new data […]

What if we turned the skills-gap debate around?

One of the frequent criticisms levelled at universities in both the US and UK is that they do not provide students with the skills they need in the workplace. Often borrowing from human capital theory, first elaborated by the late Chicago School economist Gary Becker in the 1960s, critics argue that high aggregate unemployment rates, particularly of recent college […]

Spending review brings good news for science

In the government’s recent Spending Review, Chancellor George Osborne had surprisingly good news for UK researchers and UK businesses. ‘In the modern world, one of the best ways you can back business is by backing science’, he said. ‘That’s why, in the last Parliament, I protected the resource budget for science in cash terms. In this Parliament, I’m protecting […]

A quiet revolution is transforming business schools

There is a quiet revolution going on in business schools. Some call it the “transition to predictability” others call it “causal based research”. A few business schools are transitioning from explaining success to predicting success. This is happening because of the way science naturally evolves, and it has major implications for you and your career. Broadly, scientific development comes […]