Research Consortium for Belizean Studies

Strengthening the Alignment between Tertiary Education and Economic Development: The Belizean Perspective

Consuelo Luisa Waight


Researchers have established the role of tertiary education (TE) in economic development (ED). Globally, TE generates significant and multiple direct, indirect and catalytic economic impacts, which result in well-established benefits pertaining to both individuals and broader economies. Last year, the government of Belize published its first comprehensive trade policy to develop a competitive economy, and it acknowledged that a shortage of skilled labour and competent human capital, among other factors, are core weaknesses towards trade development. Given the timeliness of the government's trade policy, the following research question guided this study: What can tertiary education do to strengthen alignment with economic development in Belize? The findings revealed that three significant and interrelated factors can strengthen the link between TE and ED: they are (1) program development through strategic consultations (2) building on academic strengths and resources to increase the value proposition and (3) the implementation of talent engagement strategies.