For decades, the idea that more education will lead to greater individual and national prosperity has been a cornerstone of developed economies. Indeed, it is almost universally believed that college diplomas give British and European workers a competitive advantage in the global knowledge wars. Challenging this conventional wisdom, The Global Auction (OUP, 2011) forces us to reconsider our deeply held views about how the global economy really works and how to thrive within it.
If The Global Auction challenges the orthodoxy of human capital ideas in the West, its account of the global economy also raises fundamental questions for developing countries: what opportunities does the global auction for jobs and skills offer them? What is the role of education in their development?
The Global Auction is a radical rethinking of the ideas that stand at the heart of economic development in advanced and emerging economies. Since writing the book Phillip Brown and Hugh Lauder have been conducting a follow-up study funded through the ESRC Centre for Skills, Knowledge and Organisational Performance (SKOPE). In this research they investigate the prospects for economic development and social justice in light of the Great Recession in the West. They ask what role education and public policy now has to play when millions of highly qualified youth are unemployed or underemployed. Their conclusion is that both Westminster and Washington are in a state of denial, unable or unwilling to comes to terms with the fact that the world economy and the sources of productivity have changed. This is putting Britain in danger of losing ground to more ‘active’ industrial nations that pose significant questions about what to do about the mass ranks of college and university graduates, not to mention those with little to show for their years of schooling.
In this seminar they report on their most recent findings and invite everyone to join the debate.
Speakers will include Phillip Brown, School of Social Sciences, Cardiff University and Hugh Lauder, Department of Education, University of Bath, David Ashton, Honorary Professor, School of Social Sciences, Cardiff University, Christine Evans-Klock, Director of the Skills and Employability Department, International Labour Organisation and Professor Ken Mayhew, Pembroke College, Oxford.