OECD/France International conference

Higher Education to 2030: What Futures for Quality Access in the Era of Globalisation?

8-9 December 2008

Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers (CNAM), Paris, France



It is crucial to start imagining today the possible – as well as the desirable – roles for higher education in tomorrow’s societies.


The OECD/France conference Higher Education to 2030 was held on 8 and 9 December in Paris with a view to present and discuss possible and desirable futures for higher education. The event drew on analytical findings and stakeholder consultations carried out in the framework of the OECD Centre for Educational Research and Innovation (CERI) project on the Future of Higher Education, with a particular focus on globalisation as well as on higher education participation, access and expansion. Future challenges and opportunities related to demographic change and use of new technologies were also explored. The first volume Demography of the new OECD book series entitled Higher Education to 2030 was lauched on this occasion.


The conference was opened on 8 December by high-level keynote speeches by OECD Deputy Secretary-General Mario Amano, European Commissioner Ján Figel, UK Minister of State David Lammy, UNESCO’s Assistant Director-General Nicholas Burnett and Daniel Vitry, Director at the French Ministry of Higher Education and Research. Portuguese Secretary of State Manuel Heitor made a presentation at the concluding session on 9 December. 


Overall, the conference was rich of insightful and forward-looking presentations by prominent international experts and major stakeholders in the field of higher education. The following specific questions were addressed:

  • What kind of policy options and opportunities could be used to respond to the main challenges for future higher education access, attainment and achievement?
  • How does higher education expansion influence the reduction of social inequalities?
  • How could the future challenges of higher education financing be met?
  • In what different ways may globalisation influence the role and the governance of future higher education?


The event was well attended with wide geographic range of participants including government and international organisation representatives, academics, practitioners and other higher education stakeholders. Participants had the opportunity to contribute to the discussions.


The conference was the final event being held in 2008 to mark CERI’s 40th Anniversary. It was co-organised by CERI and France, holding the precidency of the European Union at the time.


For further information, please contact Kiira Kärkkäinen ([email protected]) at the OECD Secretariat.