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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Higher education, 1965–2005: Global convergence?
by Lee, Kwang-Sig, Ph.D., The Johns Hopkins University, 2010, 166; 3483400
Abstract (Summary)

Several scholars describe and predict the global convergence of national higher-educational curricular organization while others claim that national mechanisms are working to counter such a trend. This study is an attempt to expand the empirical scope of the existing inquires concerning the convergence thesis. The data cover 71 countries and 75% of the world population over the period 1965–2005. The central hypothesis is that countries diverged during the period in terms of higher-educational curricular organization. Indeed, several specific hypotheses are developed and tested regarding national factors that might lead to such divergent movement: as countries experience rising business power, they will allocate more resources to science and applied divisions; as countries undergo democratization, they will give more resources to humanities and basic branches; as countries become more economically advanced, they will set aside more resources to humanities and basic divisions; and, as countries go through industrialization, they will allocate more resources to applied natural science, while doing the opposite at the post-industrialization stage. For evaluating these hypotheses, statistical measures of dispersion and random-effect ANCOVA with heterogeneous level-1 variance are used. The empirical results of this examination do not support the central hypothesis. Instead, it is found that the diversity of national curricular organization became smaller during 1965–2005 on the global scale and national factors might have led to such convergence. Overall, theoretical predictions seem to match empirical outcomes for subordinate hypotheses on national business power, democratization, economic advance relative to high-income countries and industrial development. Especially, it is discovered that countries midst intensive industrialization drives, particularly the late developers who are trying to catch up, put more focus on applied natural science in higher education than do other countries. And only those whose GDP per capita are as high as the average of organic members of the core zone might reduce their emphasis on applied natural science as their economies advance relative to other high-income countries. As international competition intensifies, even the majority of high-income countries might take the option of jumping on the bandwagon by emphasizing more on applied natural science in higher education.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Plank, Stephen
School: The Johns Hopkins University
School Location: United States -- Maryland
Source: DAI-A 73/01, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Educational sociology, Social structure, Higher education
Keywords: Convergence, Curricular organization, Development, Divergence, Globalization, Higher education, Industrialization
Publication Number: 3483400
ISBN: 978-1-124-99224-2
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