Education's Role in the Socioeconomic Development of Malta

Education's Role in the Socioeconomic Development of Malta

Education's Role in the Socioeconomic Development of Malta

Education's Role in the Socioeconomic Development of Malta

Synopsis

Central to Malta's efforts for redevelopment after receiving full independence from Great Britain in 1964 was a stronger emphasis placed on expansion of its international educational environment, which included vocational, technical, and academic training. Using Malta as a case study, this volume sheds light on the functioning of an educational system in a developing nation, demonstrates education's role in improving a nation's socioeconomic system, and supports economic theories that maintain that investment in education is a natural tool for economic development. It also provides information on approaches and techniques other countries use to resolve their educational problems and adds to the knowledge of international and business education.

Excerpt

Investment in education is a key element in national development (Easterlin, 1981). Before 1960, many economists were unconcerned that various notable economic phenomena could be rendered intelligible by the idea of human capital formation (Dennison, 1962). According to Blaug (1968), economists made no apologies for their views on total production functions and international factor endowments in terms of homogeneous units of labor and capital, or for their wage and salary studies that focused on operations of a labor market rather than on expectations of lifetime earnings. They confined their expressions of educational planning to sources and methods of finance.

Until the end of World War II, the policy for higher education in Malta and most other developing nations was based on the concept that education was an end in itself, not something that could generate economic benefits. Governments were reluctant to invest in education because, for the most part, participants undertook higher education for prestige, love of study, or family influence. It could not be regarded, therefore, as a rationally planned investment based on opportunity cost analysis. Economic planners were not able to separate the consumption function from the investment element of educational expenditure, particularly since returns from educational investment were intangible and difficult to justify. in addition, people never were viewed as forms of wealth similar to physical capital. Therefore, expenditures on higher education remained unpopular to developing economies until world economists influenced their thinking and changed their attitudes.

Higher education is a tool for economic development. As far back as 1776, Adam Smith, one of the earlier proponents of this thinking, acknowledged that the "acquired abilities of a nation's inhabitants were part of a nation's capital." in the decades that followed, the studies and . . .

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