Sir Howard Newby reviews Ben Wildavsky’s new book The Great Brain Race. He opens by describing Ben’s work as an application of Tom Friedman’s anaylsis in The World Is Flat to higher education and continues on to praise the book as “readable, fast-paced”:
Wildavsky sets out his narrative with great clarity. He follows a conventional line of argument in explaining the dual role of universities in the globalising knowledge economy: they are responsible for both producing a significant proportion of that knowledge and providing the skilled individuals – students – who can make use of it. As governments around the world have accepted that the key to economic competitiveness is an educated, innovative and enterprising labour force, so has been ushered in a growing desire to establish “world-class” universities, expand the number of graduates, import overseas providers and drive up quality.
Sir Newby also points out that because the book is so readable, it will be picked up and “perused by those who have little time to read books – ministers, political advisers, senior civil servants and even vice-chancellors,” and could impact the debates surrounding education policy in the UK and elsewhere.
Read the complete review here.