The very reliable Program for Research on Private Higher Education recently released a study of Thai private higher education. With the returns to higher education growing rapidly in many developing countries - including Thailand - the question of expanding access to higher education is no small matter. According to the new study, Inside Thai Private Higher Education, private higher education has been growing like gangbusters:
Much of the lament following the latest failed talks of the Doha Round centered on liberalization of trade in agriculture. The hope, at least in part, was that a reduction in subsidies in the developed world could provide a stimulus to farmers in the developing world (never mind that the global rise in food prices would have been exacerbated in the short run by a reduction in subsidies). Coupled with the failed talks is a slowdown in the OECD economies, reducing overall demand for exports from the developing world. What's a developing country to do?
Apparently, degree mills - unaccredited universities - are a national security concern in Nigeria. The authorities mean business:
[The National Council on Education] is partnered with the Department of State Services—Nigeria's secret service—in locating, arresting, and prosecuting operators of unapproved universities and satellite campuses.
While we may not be ready to announce victory in the digital war on poverty, there are definitely battles that are being won. And the most recent battle is that over text messaging. Cell phones have spread like wildfire across Africa and many other parts of the world. But these are basic handsets - no internet access, no videos, no maps. These phones do, however, have short message service (SMS), aka text messaging.
The Wall Street Journal had an article today on a little-known narcotic plant called Qat. It is popular in Yemen, Ethiopia, and a few other places, but most authorities don't look too kindly on the use of the plant.
I've just run across two papers examining the impact of remittances on growth, and they both point to a similar conclusion. The first, entitled Remittances and Growth in Latin America, concludes: