Stay in the loop! Subscribe to our mailing list

Shanghai statement calls for more research in and on higher education

On 2-3 November higher education stakeholders from all over the world met at Shanghai with the objective of discussing and assessing the needs of the tertiary education sector in an increasingly globalised, commercialised and accessible higher education landscape. Organised by the Boston College Center for International Higher Education (CIHE) and Innovation, Higher Education and Research for Development (IHERD) with funding provided by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), the roundtable meeting at the Shanghai Jiao Tong University brought together 33 directors of higher education centres and programmes as well as higher education policymakers. The meeting resulted in the Shanghai statement which calls for a suitable framework for higher education, research and training in an increasingly complex tertiary education environment.

The Shanghai statement, however, does not put emphasis on the ‘typical’ problems of higher education institutions such as funding or enrolment rates, but rather deals with higher education on a meta-level. Consequently, a strong focus is put on the research on higher education and its potential contributions to an improved global tertiary education system as well as the efficient functioning of higher education institutions.

Key requirements include;

  • the establishment of proper research capacities for the field of higher education;
  • professionalisation and training programmes for an efficient higher education management such as research management, quality assurance, financial affairs and student development;
  • improved data collection on higher education specific matters to support more efficient decision-making; and
  • the establishment of international or regional centres for comparative and international data analysis as well as specialised organisations and research on specific sub-fields of higher education such as internationalisation.

In addition, the Shanghai statement underscores the importance of a favourable policy environment which takes the challenges of higher education seriously and offers a suitable framework for tackling topics such as international student flows, the massification of higher education access in times of declining public resources, or commercialisation of higher education. 


Shanghai statement