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Graduate Labour Market

The impact of higher education expansion on economic restructuring, occupational change and access to opportunities in Brazil and India.


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Both Brazil and India have experienced rapid growth and are predicted to become leading world economies by 2050. In many ways, they are experiencing the same challenges experienced by the UK in the second part of the 20th century. Similarly, both have higher education sectors that have grown and diversified considerably in the last 30 years which are seen as key to their development of skills and knowledge to promote innovation, growth and global competitiveness. However, as in developed countries, development has mainly benefited those with existing educational and social advantages, despite initiatives to extend equality of opportunity and improve educational access to disadvantaged groups.

This international project was funded by the UK's Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). It built directly on the preliminary phase of the Pathfinder project in Brazil and India, involving an interdisciplinary team of partners who participated in the preparatory workshops, extending existing bilateral collaborative research experience between members of the UK and Brazilian teams, the UK and Indian teams and the Brazilian and Indian teams. The project was led by Professor Kate Purcell as project director, working collaboratively with Professor Nadya Guimarães and Professor Alvaro Comin at the Sao Paulo University, Professor Rakesh Basant at the Observer Research Foundation in New Delhi, and Professor Jeemol Unni at the Institute of Rural Management in Anand, Gujarat. It involved collaborative analyses and knowledge transfer among the partner teams to improve the use of and development of statistical resources nationally and internationally. The findings have been published in English and Portuguese and were debated widely among the policy and academic stakeholder communities in the two overseas countries involved. The research and methodologies developed, particularly a completely nrew classification of occupations to monitor the relationship between higher education learning, growth in the supply of graduates as a result of HE participation increase in all the countries, occuaptional change (see ) is of relevance to and can be replicated in other emerging economies and more widely. International publication and further development is planned by the co-applicants. Working papers can be downloaded on the right-hand side and a book in Portuguese, further working papers and other publications are in production.