How Neoliberal Globalization Directs Higher Education

How Neoliberal Globalization Directs Higher Education

Binh C. Bui (University of Houston, USA) and Loan Phuong Thi Le (Van Lang University, Vietnam)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-9746-9.ch005
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On the basis of the seminal paper presented at the International Conference on Taiwanese-Vietnamese Education in 2013, the authors further present how neoliberal globalization directs higher education. The purpose of the authors in this chapter is to critically analyze the complex interplay between neoliberal globalization and the employment prospects of graduates from universities and colleges. Revisiting the concept of relative advantage for division of labor, they delineated the neoliberal theory of globalization. Within this framework, they employed the Heckscher-Ohlin model and Stolper-Samuelson theorem to argue that if countries follow the relative advantage doctrine, the value of higher education will decrease in a developing country such as Vietnam. Neoliberal globalization therefore presents significant implications to the accumulation of human capital. If taking these implications seriously, individuals, higher education institutions, and policymakers can figure out better schemes to invest in higher education.
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Relative Advantage For Labor Division

Calculated by opportunity costs, the principle of relative advantage (or comparative advantage) is used for dividing labor not only between individuals but also between economies. One of common understandings in economics is therefore that when two individuals or nations have different opportunity costs in performing a particular task, they can improve the total values of the produced goods and services by specialization and trade in those goods and services. Let us take the case of France, the United Kingdom, South Korea, and Vietnam as an example (Table 1). An assumption herein is that the goods are similar in value, and their values do not change over time. (Reality is different, however.) Given this assumption, if each of the economies choose to produce a particular good to their relative advantage, the total output they produce within 60 minutes comes to 16 (six airplanes, four cars, four laptops, and two shirts). Otherwise, they can only produce a maximum number of 14 products within the time allotted.

Table 1. Division of labor between economies within 60 minutes
Choice of production
The UK25’15’15’15’
South Korea25’15’35’40’

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