The Demographic Factor in Shaping State Policy for Higher Education of Ukraine

Empirio 1 (1):63-72 (2024)
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Abstract

The article examines key indicators of the demographic crisis in Ukraine, highlighting manifestations of the nation’s aging and natural population decline. It’s determined that understanding and analyzing the demographic situation allows for predicting changes in the size and structure of the student population, which is crucial for the effective development of higher education in Ukraine. Considering the trends of declining birth rates and an aging population, it is important to adapt admission strategies for students and educational programs accordingly. The examination of the demographic crisis helps identify key challenges, such as a decrease in the number of high school graduates, which can impact competition within the higher education environment. The trends examined in the article, including the decline in the birth rate of the Ukrainian population, the aging of the nation, the level of migration, and the loss of the civilian population due to the war, enable us to characterize the situation in Ukraine as depopulation. Notable changes in the demographic landscape and shifts in the population structure occurred after February 24, 2022, including irreversible human losses, population emigration (over 10 million people), and a decline in the average birth rate. A correlation was identified between the number of births each year and the dynamics of educational services’ capacity. It was observed that higher education in Ukraine will confront significant demographic challenges in the next 17 years. In the context of the strategic goal to restore Ukraine’s human capital, the article suggests viewing higher education as an effective instrument of state policy in a cyclical process: attaining higher education, integrating graduates into the national economy, ensuring financial stability, fostering active citizenship, and promoting loyalty to the state—all contributing to an improvement in the demographic situation.

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