Education and Human Capital Development to Strengthen R&D Capacity in the ASEAN
The role of education is crucial in process of economic development. Initially, investments in training and education produce the necessary technical workers. At higher levels of economic development, the formation of highly skilled technicians, engineers, and professionals are made through advanced levels of education. The accumulation of sophisticated types of human capital is a major factor in creating the research and innovation infrastructure of a mature economy. Looking at the research and development (R&D) capacity of the ASEAN region, we see that most countries still have ways to go in order to fully develop their innovative capacity. Engineering, which is a significant source of innovations in a country, needs to have its curriculum revamped to adapt to global competition as well as to cater to the need of countries to innovate. This study recommends the improvement of technical competence of engineering education, the exploration of possible cooperation among engineering schools and professionals, learning from advanced economies on the development of advanced skills, the development of the soft skills of engineering students, and adopting an innovation perspective in the development of a nation.