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Impact of Economic Crisis on Student Demand for Tertiary Education

Vesna Skrbinjek, Dusan Lesjak and Janez Šušteršič
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Vesna Skrbinjek: International School for Social and Business Studies, Slovenia
Dusan Lesjak: University of Primorska, Slovenia

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Abstract: Knowledge societies emphasise the importance of education as one of the key factors for economic and social progress. The global economic crisis increased these expectations even further. Our research focused on whether the demand for tertiary education changes during economic crisis. Changes in demographics are also an important factor influencing demand for tertiary education. These changes coincide with the effects of the economic crisis. We divided the countries into two groups based on the impact of the global economic crisis on their economies: economically more affected and economically less affected countries. Using these two groups, we studied the changes in demand for tertiary education between 2008 and 2012. We found that demand for tertiary education was higher in the economically less affected countries. However, in the economically more affected countries, the share of young people of the typical tertiary education enrolment age in the population fell sharply. As a result, the gross enrolment ratio was higher in the economically more affected countries. Our findings contribute new knowledge and reflect on the impact of the economic crisis on the changes in tertiary education, which can be used to inform tertiary education policies in order to achieve better outcomes in tertiary education and in the society as a whole.

Keywords: tertiary education; economic crisis; demographics; enrollment (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2015
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