In Conclusion: Doing More with Less: New Ways of Providing and Financing Higher Education in the Post-Massication Era
There are no signs that the expansion of higher education that started in the middle of the previous century has come to a halt. Education continues to gain importance. It is believed to be the key to economic success. ‘Having the right qualifications, in the right subjects, from the right institutions’ matters (Wolf, 2002). Economic policy-makers indeed argue that it matters more than ever before. In Europe, the European Commission has stated that education – and higher education in particular – is a key enabler of smart, sustainable and inclusive growth (European Commission 2010). It is believed that investing in research and development as well as in education will benefit all sectors of the economy. The growth of knowledge-based service industries and the increased need for technological and social innovations require increased numbers of creative and skilled employees to be educated and trained (and re-trained) at post-secondary level. And so, in many ways, the twenty-first century looks like becoming an era of universal access to higher education – the post-massification century.