Nine regional and thematic consultations provide analysis and proposals on the right to higher education
A suite of reports presents the key findings from a series of regional and thematic consultations on the right to higher education as an integral component of the evolving right to education, incorporating access to higher education, participation and student success, and students’ post-higher education trajectories.
In this context, UNESCO IESALC initiated a flagship project on the right to higher education in 2021. With support in part through a grant from the Open Society Foundations, the aim of this multi-stage project was to advocate for the right to higher education and to introduce a social justice perspective on the right to higher education into the international agenda.
As Francesc Pedró, director of UNESCO IESALC states, “we need to rethink the understanding of the right to higher education as a human right and from a social justice perspective in order to reduce the various obstacles that hinder access, success and completion of quality and relevant studies”.
As part of this project, a series of consultation meetings were held to learn about the most pressing issues, possible solutions and next steps regarding the right to higher education. The consultations brought together higher education scholars, practitioners, leaders, decision-makers, activists, students and youth representatives to provide their expert perspectives on the status of the right to higher education in their regions, countries and communities.
Between April 2022 and January 2023, nine consultations took place. Five consultations were regional (Africa, Arab States, Asia and Pacific, Europe and North America, Latin America and the Caribbean) and four thematic meetings took up pressing topical issues relating the right to higher education with gender equality, people with disabilities, refugees and forcibly displaced people and rethinking merit.
A briefing note compendium from each consultation written by the participants in the consultations, and a synthesis report present key findings and sets out next steps for a roadmap to promote international consensus on the right to higher education.
As the only specialist institute of the United Nations with a mandate for higher education improvement, the UNESCO International Institute for Higher Education in Latin America and the Caribbean (IESALC) considers it vital to place discussions about the right to higher education on the international agenda and to advocate for policy and regulatory change that leads to higher education for all.
Click on the images to read the reports