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Enhancing higher education system performance - Home



The OECD’s work on higher education is made up of two separate but interrelated strands of work: benchmarking higher education system performance and the in-depth analysis of higher education topics.

Countries may choose to participate in one or both of these strands of work, according to their national priorities

Benchmarking higher education systems performance

The OECD will collect data and information across different performance dimensions in higher education within a policy relevant framework to:

  • compare performance across higher education systems to identify which higher education systems are performing well, in which areas, and why; and
  • identify strengths and weaknesses within national higher education systems.

In-depth analysis of higher education topics

The OECD will analyse a higher education topic in-depth to provide countries with:

  • An analytical framework for approaching the topic

  • A self-assessment tool for countries to use

  • Tailored policy advice to specific countries (country reviews)

  • Peer-learning opportunities

  • New evidence and insights to feed back into and strengthen the benchmarking performance framework

Stakeholder dialogue

It is important to maintain and strengthen the engagement of higher education institutions and other stakeholders with OECD work on higher education. This will not only provide opportunities for the OECD to gain valuable feedback on the higher education work but also enable the OECD to get the sector’s perspectives on emerging trends and policy concerns in higher education. A key feature of the dialogue is an annual OECD Higher Education Stakeholder forum.

Why are we doing this work now?

Higher education is at the heart of the knowledge society – it contributes to the development of high-level skills, creates new knowledge, carries out research that underpins our understanding of the world we live in and beyond and spurs innovation.


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