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Recent decades have witnessed a rapid growth of global enrolments in higher education, driven by both demand and supply. On one hand, this expansion meets the needs of school leavers who aspire to upgrade their qualifications in the context of global economic transformation. On the other, governments are expanding higher education provision for the purposes of enhancing their national economic competitiveness, nurturing a highly educated workforce and fostering technological innovation. While government discourse on this global trend of massification typically emphasizes links between higher education and economic development, the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals understand access to higher education in terms of a wider range of development goals. That said, numerous questions arise: How can higher education reduce poverty, improve people’s health and well-being, foster gender equality, encourage a balance between social and economic values, protect the environment, and promote peace? Examining these assumptions about the links between higher education and development, this course explores different understandings of the roles and functions of higher education in development and associated ethical issues and practical barriers. For example, while higher education expansion is portrayed as an increase in investment in human capital, emphasizing economic competitiveness and social efficiency implies an acceptance of the structure of inequality at the heart of a society and massification in higher education also brings about quality issues. In the course, students are required to examine relevant policies, practices and challenges in different national and local contexts