Rethinking Higher Education Financing and Policies in a Changing World

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Rethinking Higher Education Financing and Policies in a Changing World


47 minutes

About the Course

Addressing the burden of education financing, given the shifting labor market, and delivery challenges is critical for sustainable development. This course explains the role education and its financing play in advancing economic growth and tackling inequality, and the outlook for the sector after the COVID-19 crisis.

It explores how different higher education financing systems can affect education access and government revenue under increasing post-pandemic pressure, and spotlights two types of student loans: time-based repayment loans (TBRL) and income-contingent loans (ICL).

The course discusses key differences between the two loan types, country-level experiences, and the shift from TBRL—the most common form of student loan—toward the adoption of ICL.

The course consists of 4 units:

  • Unit 1: Introduction—The Value of Higher Education for Developing Countries (7 minutes)

  • Unit 2: Higher Education Financing (11 minutes)

  • Unit 3: Time-Based Repayment Loans (TBRL) and Income-Contingent Loans (ICL) (23 minutes)

  • Unit 4: Conclusion and Key Takeaways (6 minutes)

Learning Objectives

  • Better understand how improved access to higher education can help reduce poverty and inequality
  • Examine different student loan types and their economic implications for individuals and society
  • Assess student loan policy options for improving access to education

How to Complete this e-Course

  • Watch 4 short video lessons
  • Review open access reading materials
  • Successfully pass quiz with a score of 8/10 or higher
  • Answer feedback questions
  • Certificate with unique ID will be issued upon completion of course requirements


Bruce Chapman, Emeritus Professor, Australian National University


Lilian Tan, E-Learning Consultant, Asian Development Bank Institute

Email: [email protected]

Suggested reading

Armstrong, S., and B. Chapman, eds. 2011. Financing Higher Education and Economic Development in East Asia. Australian National University Press.

Ainscow, M., C. Chapman, and M. Hadfield. 2020.Changing Education Systems: A Research-Based Approach. First edition. London: Routledge.

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