Planning for freedom: From human capital to human capabilities

  • Lesley Powell NM
Keywords: COVID 19


We would be hard pressed to disagree with Thurow’s statement, made almost a half century ago, that  “however much they may differ on other matters, the left, the center, and the right all affirm the central importance of education as a means for solving our social problems, especially poverty” (Thurow, 1972, p.66). Since then, and against a backdrop of neoliberalism, the issue from a policy perspective has become not only equality in accessing education, but also the importance of providing the ‘right education’. Framed within what Brown, et al. (2020, p.227) aptly term “orthodox human capital and its links to neoliberal economics”, the ‘right education’ is that which increases production and economic growth whilst simultaneously expanding employability and competitiveness in the labour market.