What is education for?

Speaker: Professor Hugh Lauder, University of Bath

Hugh Lauder addressed the widely-held assumption of policy makers and orthodox economists is that there is a tight connection between education, skills and the labour market. He challenged the assumption, highlighting ways in which the connections between education and work have become problematic and questioning the dominant view of this relationship, often represented by human capital theory.

The seminar previewed findings from a new book (co-authored with Phil Brown and Sin Yi Cheung), The Death of Human Capital, which will present new data about the returns to income for young people in the labour market. The session questioned what is understood by ‘capital’ in human capital and concluded with a discussion of the implications of changes in international labour markets for schools, employers and policy makers.

Slides from the seminar are available to download: Education and Employers PPT1

Hugh Lauder is Professor of Education and Political Economy at the University of Bath. He has studied at the University of London, (Institute of Education), and gained his Doctorate at the University of Canterbury (NZ). He specialises in the relationship of education to the economy and has for over 15 years worked on national skill strategies and more recently on the global skill strategies of multinational companies and their implications for graduate recruitment. His books include: Brown, P, Lauder, H, Ashton, D (2012) The Global Auction: The Broken Promises of Education, Jobs and Incomes, Oxford University Press, New York; Lauder, H., et al (eds.)Educating for the Knowledge Economy: Critical Perspectives (2012) Lauder, H, Brown, P, Dillabough J-A and Halsey, A.H. (eds.) (2006) Education, Globalization and Social Change, Oxford, Oxford University Press; Brown, P, Green, A and Lauder, H., (2001) High Skills: Globalisation, Competitiveness and Skill Formation, Oxford, Oxford University Press. Brown, P and Lauder, H (2001) Capitalism and Social Progress: The Future of Society in a Global Economy, Basingstoke, Palgrave Press. His works have been translated into Chinese, Korean, Japanese and many other languages. He has published numerous academic papers including on international education and globalization, and is editor of the Journal of Education and Work. He has been a Visiting Professor at the Institute of Education, the University of Turku (Finland) and at the University of Witwatersrand (South Africa).  He is Director at the University of Bath Institute for Policy Research.

Hugh was a keynote speaker at the 2010 Education and Employers Research conference.