Global Reports

"Trends in Global Higher Education: Tracking an Academic Revolution"

This Report will highlight key trends in higher education and provide a brief description of worldwide developments of these trends with supporting statistical or data illustrations and an analysis. The major trends are: massification in higher education; globalization and internationalization; distance education and new applications for information and communication technologies (ICTs); the privatization of higher education; the global flow of talent (globalization has exacerbated the worldwide movement of highly educated people); the academic profession at a crossroads for the student experience; research universities and the “world-class” phenomenon; financing higher education; quality assurance and  university-industry linkages. The Report will conclude by outlining some future trends in higher education.

The authors of the report (Philip G. AltbachLiz Reisberg and Laura E. Rumbley) are from the Center for International Higher Education, Boston College, whose mission is to advance knowledge about the complex realities of higher education in the contemporary world. Through its publications and other activities, the Center promotes the belief that an international perspective will foster enlightened policies and practices.

Trends in Global Higher Education: Tracking an Academic Revolution

The report has been elaborated in close cooperation with UNESCO Institute of Statistics (UIS).

"Higher Education, Research & Innovation: Changing Dynamics"

Published by the UNESCO Forum on Higher Education, Research and Knowledge, this report includes position papers and analytical essays covering the major issues facing knowledge systems today. These systems are constituted by the sectors of higher education, science and
technology and innovation where the generation of high-level knowledge
through strong research capacity is a common feature.  Thus, how
research is governed, organized and funded and how the the essential
human capital is assured are critical concerns.

While high-income countries build their knowledge systems through solid
investment in higher education, research and development and information technology,
 middle- and low-income countries face great challenges to keep pace with
the fast-moving trends in this process. The challenges facing the latter group, including the availability and collection of accurate data, are documented in  the  the Special Initiative Project "Mapping Research Systems in Middle and Low Income Countries" which involved 52
country studies, four regional studies and a meta review of key trends.
Increasing investment in research capacity in  Brazil, Russia, India and China as well
as in emerging economies  such as Singapore, Rwanda, Chile and Qatar, attest to the importance  of knowledge systems for national development
and international competitiveness.

The UNESCO Forum on Higher Education, Research and Knowledge is an
initiative  resulting from the World Conference on Higher Education (
1998) and the World Conference on Science (1999) and is funded by the
Swedish International  Development Agency.

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“Higher Education at a time of transformation. New dynamics for social responsibility”

This report is a synthesis of the three “Higher Education in the world” reports, which are part of a series about the social commitment of universities   provides an overview of the state of higher education worldwide. The report is published yearly and focuses on a specific topic, the most recent being the 2008 report “Higher Education: New Challenges and Emerging Roles for Human and Social Development.”

GUNI was set up by UNESCO, the United Nations University (UNU) and the Technical University of Catalonia (UPC), Barcelona, Spain,  in 1999 with the aim of following-up on the decisions taken at the first World Conference on Higher Education (WCHE, Paris 1998). GUNI is composed of UNESCO Chairs in Higher Education, research centres, Universities, networks and other institutions from around the world committed to innovation in higher education.