Higher Education Quarterly

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Volume 44 Issue 3 (July 1990), Pages 191-290

Provision of Higher Education in Small States: Demands, Constraints and Strategies (pages 264-281)


Over half the world's sovereign states have populations below five million, and over a quarter have populations below one million. Recognising this fact, the literature on small states has grown markedly in recent decades. However, many educational issues remain unexplored. This paper commences by discussing the dimensions of scale and the nature of small states. It then turns to the demand for local provision of higher education in small states, commenting particulary on social, political, economic and educational factors. The third part notes constraints on local provision of higher education, of which the most obvious is financial. Fourthly, the paper discusses strategies to avoid these constraints, focusing in particular on ways to expand institutions to secure economies of scale. These strategies cannot be applicable to all states, but they nevertheless provide an illuminating array of potential ways to meet demands.

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