UNESCO is the only UN body with a mandate to support national capacity building in higher education.
The worldwide reflection on the role of higher education in the twenty-first century culminated in the holding of the World Conference on Higher Education in the Twenty-First Century: Vision and Action (WCHE) (UNESCO Headquarters, Paris, 5-9 October 1998). WCHE laid down the fundamental principles for the in depth reform of higher education systems throughout the world and thus the transformation of higher education.
Throught its efforts in Higher Education in the Arab States UNESCO Beirut focuses on the following goals:
- Widening access to higher education
- Enhancing the relevance of higher education curricula
- Strengthening the role of higher education in sustainable and social development
- Encouraging research and development activities in higher education
- Improving the quality of higher education
- Increasing the efficiency in management and financing of higher education
- Improving the professional qualifications and status of workers in higher education
- Improving cooperation and exchange of knowledge between higher education institutions