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Higher Education Policy

About us

The Higher Education Policy Team carries out analysis on a wide range of higher education systems and policies. Its work is advised by the Group of National Experts on Higher Education (GNE-HE), which assists the Education Policy Committee (EDPC) in guiding the OECD’s work on higher education policy. GNE-HE Delegates, nominated by countries, are experts in higher education policy from public bodies responsible for higher education, and other specially invited experts. Meetings of the GNE-HE provide countries with an opportunity to review and comment on the work of the Secretariat, and to share national higher education policies and practices with one another. For further information about the Higher Education Policy Team and the GNE-HE, contact HigherEducation@oecd.org

Labour Market Relevance and Outcomes of Higher Education

The LMRO Project aims to help governments and higher education institutions (HEIs) enhance the employment outcomes of graduates by better aligning higher education provision and labour markets. Austria, Hungary, Portugal and Slovenia are participating in a European Commission-supported LMRO Partnership Initiative. The project features country-specific analyses, a self-reflection questionnaire by HEIs, and peer learning activities within and among countries. The first of three International Policy and Practice Seminars examined labour market information for learners and HEIs. Working Papers on topics of common interest also inform the project, including the use of labour market information by learners; the emergence of “alternative credentials”; and the use of "big data" to understand the graduate skills sought by employers. NorwayMexico, and four US states previously participated in the LMRO project.

The Higher Education Resources Project

Policy makers face difficult questions of resource allocation, such as how to fund higher education institutions, equitably organise student lending, and promote efficient collaboration among higher education institutions. This project helps them respond to these challenges through country reviews that provide a comprehensive examination of resource allocation and use, and thematic policy briefs that provide comparative analysis of targeted policy priorities. The project offers international peer-learning workshops, reports examining key research findings on policy challenges, and a Higher Education Policy Survey that permits comparison and benchmarking of resourcing policy choices.

National Reviews of Higher Education Policy

These are customised reviews undertaken at the request of countries, and tailored to the policy challenges they face. Countries may use them to gain an external perspective on their entire higher education governance and policy framework, as an input to a higher education reform or new strategy, as with The Future of Mexican Higher Education. Countries may draw on OECD expertise in a multi-disciplinary review, as with Higher Education, Research, and Innovation in Portugal, which combined OECD teams working on higher education, innovation and research. Alternatively, countries may request a review focusing on one facet of higher education policy, such as Rethinking Quality Assurance for Higher Education in Brazil.

Digitalisation in Higher Education

Digital technologies hold enormous potential to enhance quality, equity and efficiency in higher education. Wisely adopted, they can widen access to non-traditional learners, reduce instructional costs, and expand individualised and adaptive instruction. However, realising the full potential of digitalisation – and avoiding its risks – will require that countries comprehensively rethink their policy framework including how they fund institutions and support learners; how instructors are trained and supported; how quality is assured; and how learning is credentialed. We are now supporting the development of a new strategic framework for digital transformation in higher education in Hungary, and organising a series of Digitalisation in Higher Education webinars for GNE-HE delegates and higher education stakeholders, on their invitation. Key messages, as well as the presentations and poll results from the first webinar, held on 29 October 2020, are available. The next webinar is scheduled for March 2021. 

Publications