02/04/2008 - In today’s knowledge-driven global economy, tertiary education is more important than ever to help countries achieve their economic and social goals. Education authorities from around the world will meet at an OECD conference Lisbon on 3-4 April 2008 to discuss how to ensure that tertiary education systems best serve these wider public purposes.
The conference will coincide with release of the final report of the OECD Thematic Review of Tertiary Education, a three-year study of tertiary education policies in 24 countries. There are increasing demands on tertiary education nowadays to satisfy the needs of the economy and society, to become more accountable and to build closer links with a range of stakeholders. Tertiary education must adapt and rise to the challenge. The report provides a wide range of options for policymakers to consider in their national context. Among its recommendations: an outward focus for institutions, with greater autonomy and diversity; public funding with appropriate cost-sharing; and national strategies to respond to the growing internationalisation of tertiary education. An overview of the report, Tertiary Education for the Knowledge Society, outlines major trends, challenges and policy directions for tertiary education.
The Lisbon conference, organised under the sponsorship of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education of Portugal, will bring together government officials, academics, representatives of tertiary education institutions and other stakeholder groups to discuss the report’s key findings and how to apply them at the national level. The conference is locally organised by the Instituto Superior de Ciências do Trabalho e da Empresa (ISCTE), a public university based in Lisbon.
The Minister of Science, Technology and Higher Education of Portugal, José Mariano Gago, and OECD Deputy-Secretary General, Aart de Geus, will open the conference. Keynote addresses will be given by Professor Andreu Mas-Colell, of Universitat Pompeu Fabra, on the role of tertiary education in achieving the economic and social goals of countries, and by Professor Nicholas Barr of the London School of Economics, on financing tertiary education to promote quality and access. Workshop sessions will address a range of specific policy challenges, including: funding tertiary education, assuring and improving quality, achieving equity, enhancing the role of tertiary education in research and innovation, and strengthening ties with communities and the labour market. The full details of the programme are available here.
The conference will be open to the media. For further information and to obtain a copy of the full report, journalists are invited to contact Susan Copeland, OECD Directorate for Education ( tel. + 33 1 45 24 97 34).
See more details on the OECD Thematic Review of Tertiary Education.