Book Review: The Failure of University Education for Development & What To Teach Instead

frontcover-the_failure_of_university_education_for_developmentTitle: The Failure of University Education for Development & What To Teach Instead

Author: Samuel A. Odunsi, Sr.

Genre: Nonfiction, education, economics

Age Group: Adult

Rating: 4 stars

Purchase: Amazon

Review copy provided by Enchanted Book Promotions in exchange for an honest review.

Finally, a New Big Idea that Solves Our Toughest Problems.

New book by Samuel A. Odunsi, Sr. defines the problem of tacit cultural knowledge in education and how to solve it.

University education may benefit the individual, but it has not led to overall economic development.  For many developing countries, the hope behind university education far exceeds the results. The ideas and solution presented in this book provides a way to equalize the results of university education with the hope and unrealized expectations behind it.

  • Education cannot teach everything about development. The most crucial aspects of development are tacit in nature and cannot be directly expressed or taught. Instead, they are acquired passively in culture.

  • Liberal Education has struggled with this problem. While its lofty goals are well defined, they cannot be met without the tacit knowledge for development, which it can barely define, much less teach.

  • The concept of “Cultural Diversity” recognizes that there are differences between cultures, including tacit cultural knowledge.

  • The tacit knowledge needed for development is not specific knowledge. Instead it is the connection of the elements of the western economic model, that may be learned in school, to the language capacity that all human beings already possess and use for creatively expressing the spoken language.

  • This is why expatriates from the West and the developed countries of Asia often perform successfully as managers and entrepreneurs in the developing countries, despite the constraints of underdevelopment. To them, the elements of the economic model are merely vocabulary to be expressed as management, administration, or entrepreneurship, using the language capacity.

  • The purpose of university education should be to connect technical knowledge about economic development with the language capacity that students already possess. In the same way that the human language capacity can be repurposed for the use of a second language. Graduates can then express the economic model with the versatility and creativity they already use for expressing the spoken language.

  • The means for achieving this purpose is now available and presented in the book and on this site:

  • Help bring real change to our world. Make it happen now. Contact

In The Failure of University Education for Development & What To Teach Instead, the author explores why university education on its own doesn’t work or help underdeveloped countries – the university graduates fail to perform as effectively as expatriates from the West, or from Asia, even after having received a university education. While these countries now have many people with a university degree, development is still waiting to happen – competences that are required to help development, are still lacking. So why does university education fail to help development? Where does it go wrong?

The book explores various reasons why university education fails to help development. It puts the blame not with people, nor the quality of education, but explores other reasons. I was quite happy to read chapter six, that says nothing is wrong with people – I’ve heard it all too often that people get blamed for their education being ineffective. If it is ineffective not for one person, but for multitudes of people, hundreds, thousands, that inherently something must be wrong with education.

The book looks for reasons in culture, diversity, language, lack of common ground between the West and the underdeveloped countries, and even provides a possible solution.

Although short at only 37 pages, the book holds a vast amount of knowledge and insights, and really made me think about a topic I’d scarcely considered in the past.

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