Participants will aim for an internationally-agreed set of actions to ensure that Higher Education and research play a strategic role in knowledge creation and sharing for a more sustainable, inclusive and development-oriented future.
The Director-General of UNESCO, Koïchiro Matsuura, will open the Conference on 5 July. Key messages will be delivered by a high-level representative of the French Government; Mr Danilo Türk, President of Slovenia; Jill Biden, Second Lady of the United States;. Dame Pearlette Louisy, Governor General, Saint Lucia;. Mr Nahas Angula, Prime Minister of Namibia; and Angel Gurría, Secretary-General, Organization OECD.
Ministers and Vice-Ministers of Education and of Higher Education from all regions of the world will attend the Conference, along with international experts and representatives of the private sector.
The Conference will feature a round table on Higher Education and research in Africa with the participation of Prime Minister Nahas Angula of Namibia. Tertiary enrolment has risen faster in Africa than elsewhere – by some 66% since 1999 – but still stands at a mere 5%. This is an obstacle to poverty reduction efforts and weakens the capacity of African countries to lead development and institute reforms.
According to the 2009 Global Education Digest published by UNESCO’s Institute for Statistics, since 2000 an additional 51.7 million new tertiary students enrolled around the world and 2.8 million students currently study outside their home country.
Ten years after the first World Conference on Higher Education in 1998, participants at the 2009 Conference will reaffirm the role of higher education in meeting global challenges - from poverty eradication to sustainable development - while examining strategies to improve access, equity and quality.
A press conference will be held on Monday 6 July at 10:30 a.m. in room IX at UNESCO Headquarters, 7 place de Fontenoy, 75007 Paris. Nicholas Burnett, UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Education and Georges Haddad, director of the Higher Education Division, will introduce the main objectives of the World Conference; Hendrik van der Pol, director of UNESCO’s Institute for Statistics, will present highlights from the Global Education Digest 2009.
- Related link : More information and programme
- Contact : Press accreditation: Djibril Kebe, UNESCO Bureau of Public Information, Tel. : +33 (0)1 45 68 17 41, firstname.lastname@example.org