This report describes how tertiary education contributes to building up a country’ s capacity for participation in an increasingly knowledge-based world economy and investigates policy options for tertiary education that have the potential to enhance economic growth and reduce poverty. It examines the following questions: What is the importance of tertiary education for economic and social development? How should developing and transition countries position themselves to take full advantage of the potential contribution of tertiary education? How can the World Bank and other development agencies assist in this process? The report draws on ongoing Bank research and analysis on the dynamics of knowledge economies and on science and technology development.