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July-August 2013

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University Expansion in the BRIC Countries and the Global Information Economy

Massive higher education expansion in the world's four largest developing economies—Brazil, Russia, India, and China, known as the BRIC countries—is having a significant impact on the world supply of university graduates, including greatly increasing available cadres of engineers and computer scientists. This expansion may change the locus of future development in the global knowledge economy. If the BRICs can train large numbers of highly qualified engineers and scientists, the poles of technological innovation could shift away from the United States, Europe, and Japan—or, at the least, become increasingly shared between these old centers and the new.

Martin Carnoy( is the Vida Jacks Professor of Education at Stanford University. Along with colleagues in China, India, and Russia, including the authors of this article, his most recent work is University Expansion in a Changing Global Economy: Triumph of the BRICs? (Stanford University Press, 2013).

Prashant Loyalka ( is a research fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford University. He has also held appointments as a lead academic researcher at the Institute for Educational Studies, Moscow Higher School of Economic, and as an assistant professor at the China Institute for Educational Finance Research at Peking University.

Isak Froumin ( is director of the Institute for Educational Studies at the National Research University Higher School of Economics in Moscow. He is also an advisor to the university's president on strategic planning and international cooperation and to the minister of education on educational reform.

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