Social Capital, Higher Education and Well-Being: A Comparative Analysis Sub-Saharan Africa and East Asia

Research output: Other Conference ContributionsConference Paper (other)Other Conference Paperpeer-review


There has been an intensification in efforts over the past few decades to improve educational outcomes to bridge socio-economic inequalities within and between nations. The pertinence of this vision cannot be emphasised enough given its prominence in global policies such as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG 4). However, it is apparent that inequalities abound in several quarters of the world. Unfortunately, the prognosis is not favourable in many localities particularly those sub-Saharan Africa and within some Asian countries due to several factors including those relating to elements of the social environment. There are indications that several contextual factors limit potency of well-intended policies meant to improve well-being of people through higher education. Indeed, a significant number of “educated” persons remain unfulfilled and project disappointing outlook in especially low-and-middle-income countries. It is the position of this paper that heightening comparative studies to broaden options for policy learning could remedy the situation in some contexts. The paper offers insights into the influence of prevailing social elements on the role of education in well-being among populations in selected sub-Saharan Africa and East Asian countries. Specifically, it examines how social capital proxies such as trust and associational involvement influence the well-being of people with various educational backgrounds. This is an attempt to enhance the impact of higher educational outcomes for well-being while limiting the adverse effects of precepts of the social environment through comparative analysis.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 20 Oct 2018
EventThe IAFOR Conference for Higher Education Research - Hong Kong: Innovation Entrepreneurship and Value - Lingnan University, Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Duration: 19 Oct 201821 Oct 2018


ConferenceThe IAFOR Conference for Higher Education Research - Hong Kong
Abbreviated titleCHER-HongKong2018
Country/TerritoryHong Kong
CityHong Kong
OtherIn recent years, governments in East Asia have called for a university-industry-business collaboration to support innovation and entrepreneurship. With the growing importance of technology advancement and its potential impact on social and economic changes, different strategies have been adopted to promote a smart city, innovation and entrepreneurship across different countries. The IAFOR Conference for Higher Education Research – Hong Kong (CHER-HongKong) sets out against the wider political economy context to examine how governments, universities, industries and businesses, and the community at large in Asia, work together to nurture innovation and entrepreneurship not only for reasons of economic growth, but also for social development and cultural enhancement.

The HKSAR Government has realised that innovation, information and technology, and entrepreneurship are important drivers for new economic growth. Thus, the HKSAR has proactively supported innovation and creativity for economic development and knowledge transfer activities. In order to capture the development opportunities given by the Big Bay Area in South China and the strategic development directions under the “Belt and Road Initiatives” rolled out by the Chinese Government, the HKSAR Government has actively called the university sector to engage with the industries and businesses, as well as the local, regional and international community to work together to promote innovation-centric entrepreneurship. The Conference organised in Hong Kong against the regional development context outlined above will provide stimulating conversations and dialogues for conference participants.

This conference offers the international platform for higher education researchers, senior university administrators, government officials, policy analysts, and professionals working across industries and education to explore new strategies/measures in support of innovation-centric entrepreneurship. Meanwhile, this conference also engages presenters and participants to examine policy, management and governance, ethical and value issues when promoting innovation, entrepreneurship and value.
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Bibliographical note

This work was also presented at The 5th International Conference on Social Policy and Governance Innovation

Organised by: School of Public Administration, South China University of Technology; Dept. of Asian and Policy Studies, The Education University of Hong Kong; Division of Graduate Studies, Lingnan University, Hong Kong (27-28 October 2018, Guangzhou, China)


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