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UNESCO Forum on Higher Education, Research and Knowledge

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  UNESCO Forum on Higher Education, Research and Knowledge

Objectives of the Forum
The UNESCO Forum on Higher Education, Research and Knowledge is an initiative focusing on research in and on Higher Education and Knowledge, with the objective to widen our understanding of systems, structures, policies, trends and developments in higher education, research and knowledge with a special focus on low and middle income countries. Related areas of interests are research on agriculture and health research, since they are important elements of the national research systems in low and middle-income countries.

The Forum (2001-2009) terminates its activities, this July 31st, 2009.
The website will remain open to consultation, within the Education portal.


- edited with the collaboration of the International Centre for Higher Education Research Kassel (INCHER-Kassel)



Compilation: Authors of Papers and Presentations (by year)

Thematic Session: Learning, Research and Innovation
7 July 2009, Paris

Several studies will be commissioned and discussed amongst a small selected group of experts in the field. The focus areas will be:
Session on World-Class Universities and Innovative Tertiary Education Institutions;
The Contribution of Higher Education, Research and Innovation Systems (HERIS) to a Sustainable Future;
Women in Higher Education, Research and Innovation (HERI)- Gains and Further Challenges for a Research Agenda;
How to Develop and Sustain a Higher Education, Research and Innovation System.

Panel at the World Conference on Higher Education
Harnessing the Public and Private, Affirming Higher Education as a Public Responsibility

7 July 2009, Paris

Several studies were commissioned and discussed amongst a small selected group of experts in the field. The focus areas will be:
• The typology of private higher education providers ranging from not for profit (philanthropic; denominational; family enterprises) to for-profit.
• An overview of country cases with a view to missions, disciplines, research areas, student populations etc.;
• Contribution of private higher education to widening access to quality higher education;
• Regulation of private higher education, with a particular focus on quality assurance, accreditation and licensing.

One of the publications produced on this field was A New Dynamic: Private Higher Education

Special Symposium on Higher Education, Research and Innovation Management Policies for African Development
4 July 2009

This symposium will have two foci:
Firstly, it will look at opportunities to develop research policies (related to higher education, research and innovation) in Africa which give directions to the implementing institutions with regard to priority areas of research relevance in this region.
Secondly, it will consider options for research granting mechanisms (both national and regional), as one important institutional component of a system which has both core funding and competitive grants based on scientific excellence in Africa.

Research in Diverse Social Contexts:Tensions, Dynamics and Challenges
(Room VIII, UNESCO, Paris 19-21 March 2009)

This workshop proposes an analysis of the diversity of research contexts across all regions and the implications of these for generating a sustainable knowledge base which can both underpin national policy-making for development and link into international research networks to keep abreast of new discoveries. The theme is inspired by the final indicator in the Template resulting from the Special Initiative to map and analyse research systems. Entitled Tensions, Dynamics and Challenges, this indicator identifies and examines the specific social contexts where research activity is facilitated by investment (e.g. Malaysia, Singapore, Chile, Qatar) or this faces specific challenges and obstacles (e.g. LDCs). Thus, favourable environments, limiting factors, and the diverse challenges posed by major social transformations (e.g. globalization and the current world economic crisis) will be examined.

The data of the Special Initiative project (notably the regional syntheses for Africa, Arab States, Asia and LAC and the global meta-review of current trends) will constitute background documents to be placed at the disposal of the workshop participants.

More information about this workshop

Global Research Seminar: Sharing Research Agendas on Knowledge Systems
Paris 28-30 November 2008
The Global Research Seminar is an occasion to gather researchers and research organizations actively engaged in studying Research and Knowledge Systems in all regions of the world. The objective was to provide an arena for researchers to network, to present and discuss new and ongoing research, identify research gaps and suggest new research agendas on research systems, with a view to forge closer links between the research communities and UNESCO in these fields.

The seminar looked at research linked to issues of how to study research and knowledge systems - conceptual and methodological concerns; the mapping of research and knowledge systems (case studies and comparative analysis); specific dimensions of research systems (research governance, funding, cooperation etc.).

More information about the Global Research Seminar

Special Forum Initiative: Strengthening National Research Systems
International Symposium, Paris 16-18 January 2008
The Symposium on Comparative Analysis of National Research Systems was a three-day workshop held from January 16th to 18th at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris, its main objective was to present Professors’ Johann Mouton and Roland Waast global report on National Research Systems of 52 low and middle-income countries and to compare their methodologies with other stakeholders and get feedback. About ten experts commented and discussed the regional country reviews, and a Special Session was organized to compare assessment methodologies for overall national research systems and for specific health research systems.

More information about the Symposium

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