GTFS: Global Trends and Future Scenarios Index

What is the Impact of Demography on Higher Education Systems? A Forward-looking Approach for OECD Countries


This report is Chapter 2 of the publication Higher Education to 2030 (Vol. 1): Demography

This chapter aims to evaluate the impact of demographic changes on the student population, on student-teacher ratios and expenditure in higher education and on the level to which the populations are educated. It shows that demographic changes are only one of the factors determining student enrollment trends, teaching staff numbers or costs in higher education. It also demonstrates that policy responses to falling student enrollments and rising enrollments in periods of expansion are often similar, albeit for sometimes different reasons. The investigation is based on forward-looking quantitative scenarios that provide a heuristic insight into these changes and their consequences, though without claiming that they can actually be forecast.