This chapter first highlights major demographic trends in the OECD area and compares them to trends in other major areas of the world. It then presents a simulation to show how the ageing of staff in higher education is an outcome of two processes ‐ ageing in place and
evolution of the student population ‐ demonstrating the importance of a cohort perspective in investigating the relation between demography and the future of higher education. The paper then looks at human capital produced by higher education in terms of the contribution to the
labour market of tertiary education graduates in person‐years. It concludes by speculating on the role of demographics as a driver of change in higher education.