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Policymakers and researchers in India & Brazil to work with UK to assess university access & economic impact

Policymakers and researchers in India and Brazil will soon be better able to monitor and assess the economic impact of their countries’ graduates, thanks to a new research programme bringing together researchers from India and Brazil with the University of Warwick’s Institute for Employment Research.

The research programme, funded by the UK’s Economic and Social Research Council will draw on the experience of, and the research tools developed by, the University of Warwick’s Institute for Employment Research to provide detailed analysis of the UK student population and its employment prospects.

The  project will help Brazilian and Indian policy-makers, academics, employers and other key stakeholders make better use of their existing statistical resources in these areas and identify priorities for future research and where they lead to invest in new data development that will inform them in assessing and monitoring the extent to which their higher education system can meet the demands that will increasingly be placed upon it as the 21st century proceeds.

The research will investigate statistical evidence of who gets access to higher education in Brazil and India – based on gender, class, ethnicity, caste, region, disability; and relating trends to recent policies and initiatives. How have policymakers attempted to address inequalities of opportunity and skills mismatches and which, in different contexts have been more and less successful? How can existing statistics be better used to inform national policies, and how can differences in methods of data collection and classification among countries be harmonised to provide better comparable labour market statistical data? Where are the policy information gaps and how can they be best filled?

Professor Kate Purcell from University of Warwick’s Institute for Employment Research said

 “The ultimate beneficiaries will be the two emerging “BRIC” economies. With improved data resources, better-informed choices can be made by HE policy-makers, practitioners and applicants, and with an HE agenda better tuned to the realities of Brazilian and Indian economic and social development. Both counties will be better equipped to develop the enormous potential of their HE systems to assist in its efforts to promote better health, welfare and economic well-being among their populations. However, there are also some lessons for us in the UK from recent experiences in these countries.  For example, both have significant private higher education sectors, and the strengths and weaknesses of policies and practices relating to these are highly relevant in the present UK political context".

Note for Editors:

The £170,000 ESRC project  entitled “Assessing the impact of higher education expansion on economic restructuring, occupational change and access to opportunities in Brazil and India.” The principal research collaborators are:

Principal Investigator:   

Professor Kate Purcell
, Institute for Employment Research, University of Warwick


Professor Nadya Guimaraes, Department of Sociology, University of Sao Paolo
Professor Alvaro Comin, Brazilian Centre for Analyses and Planning, University of Sao Paulo
Professor Rakesh Basant, Observer Research Foundation, Delhi and Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad, India
Professor Jeemol Unni, Institute for Rural Management, Anand, India

For further information please contact: 

Peter Dunn, Head of Communications
Communications Office, University House,
University of Warwick, Coventry, CV4 8UW, United Kingdom   
Tel: +44 (0)24 76 523708  Mobile/Cell:  +44 (0)7767 655860

Pr70 27th July 2010