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 [email protected]

Reskilling and upskilling in higher education

Adults increasingly need to develop new skill sets in the face of rapid labour market changes - driven in part by the digital and green transitions - and aging populations. The Higher Education Policy Team is supporting governments in OECD member and partner countries to improve access to flexible, high-quality upskilling and reskilling opportunities – including at advanced levels. This encompasses developing new forms of learning offerings and qualifications, reviewing academic credit systems, expanding micro-credentials and rethinking the design and delivery of advanced learning. The Education and Innovation Policy and Practice Community (EIPC), a joint initiative with the European Commission, seeks to enhance the role of higher education in promoting development of innovation competencies in secondary education (Strand 1), traditional higher education (Strand 2), and higher education upskilling and reskilling (Strand 3).

Resourcing higher

OECD member and partner countries face the challenge of mobilising resources to invest in higher education and directing these resources effectively to allow higher education systems to meet the needs of society. The OECD’s Resourcing Higher Education Project analyses and shares evidence about policies for funding higher education providers, organising financial aid for students, promoting rewarding academic careers and developing networks of higher education institutions. The project tackles these issues through comparative reports, country-specific analyses and advisory projects, targeted thematic policy briefs and regular peer-learning activities.

Policies for effective and inclusive digitalisation

Digitalisation has transformed the way learning and teaching take place in higher education. If wisely adopted and supported, digital technologies have enormous potential to widen access to educational opportunities and expand individualised, flexible, and innovative models of learning. Through international peer learning, comparative and country-specific policy analysis, the Higher Education Policy Team supports OECD higher education systems to adapt their policies to the specific demands of digital education and the training and support needs of students and instructors.

Enhancing higher education evidence

To enable insightful analysis, the Higher Education Policy Team is working to improve the evidence base for its comparative international and country-specific work. The Team implements regular fixed-response surveys focused on specific aspects of higher education policy in member states, using its Higher Education Policy Survey instrument. The 2022 version of the Higher Education Policy Survey (HEPS) focuses on the topics of Digitalisation, Upskilling and Reskilling.  The Team has also developed a pilot Analytical Database of Higher Education Providers (ADHEP) bringing together data at the level of individual higher education institutions to permit more fine-grained comparative analysis of higher education systems.

Recent publications and working papers