The UK higher education (HE) system has undergone a major transformation over the past three decades from a system that catered for an elite group of entrants in the late 1960s and early 1970s to one that now aims to provide tertiary education to half the population of 18 year olds. At present, approximately 39 per cent of the ‘typical’ age cohort in the UK completes a ‘full length first higher education course’, a figure above the OECD average (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development 2006: 2). This article examines recent evidence on the graduate labour market to consider whether or not the UK government is justified in focusing almost exclusively on the supply-side of the labour market (increasing the proportion of highly-qualified labour in the workforce) to ensure UK competitiveness in the global economy.
Wilton, N. (2008). Higher education, the ‘knowledge economy’ and ‘knowledge workers’: does current education policy make sense?