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Higher Education, Employment and Economic Growth: Exploring the Interactions

03 February 2015
12:30 - 13:30

Speaker: Haroon Bhorat, Aalia Cassim and David Tseng
(Development Policy Research Unit, University of Cape Town)

Date:  Tuesday, 3 February    Time: 12:30  – 13:30

Venue:    VCRs, Pretoria, Cape Town, Durban

This seminar will interrogate the impact and nature of South Africa’s post-apartheid economic growth performance through the lens of human capital investment with a particular emphasis on higher education.

The neoclassical theory of endogenous growth suggests that education has a profound impact on an economy’s growth trajectory that may result in a derived labour-demand appetite for skilled labour. This pattern in turn becomes crucial in defining and characterising the returns to households and its members on the basis of their human capital attributes.

Understanding the relationship and impact between education and growth is vital for making informed policy decisions about growth and welfare distribution. The presentation will investigate the link between education and economic growth in the following three ways :

(1)    examining labour market trends including occupational demand by education cohort;
(2)    analysing the extent  to which the educational attainments of labour cohorts affects the nature and trajectory of post-apartheid economic growth in South Africa;
understanding the welfare gains by education cohort.

We argue on the basis of our analysis that the degree cohort contributes to economic growth and also shares in economic growth gains with steady employment demand while other higher education institutions, including ‘Further Education and Training’ (FET) colleges and other institutions, do not productively contribute to economic growth. In turn, welfare gains for this cohort and particularly the poorer amongst this group, are marginal.

The seminar may be attended in Pretoria, Cape Town and Durban

RSVP by 1Februry
Cape Town: Jean Witten (021) 466  8004,   12th Floor, Plein Park Building, Plein Street, Cape Town
Durban: Ridhwaan Khan (031) 242 5400,   1st Floor, 750 Francois Road, Ntuthuko Junction, Pods 5 and 6, Cato Manor
Pretoria: Arlene Grossberg (012) 302 2811,  1st  Floor, HSRC Building, 134 Pretorius Street, Pretoria