At the end of this week, eyes are on Paris as the UNESCO World Conference on Higher Education commences. This conference is a follow-up to the first-ever world conference in 1998. Delegates from around the world are attending; the Vice President’s wife, Jill Biden, an adjunct professor, will lead the U.S. delegation.
Considering the dramatic transformation of higher education in the last 10 years, the delegates will have a large plate of topics to chew on. One of the key issues seems to be higher education and research capacity in the developing world. As higher ed. becomes globalized, there is appropriate concern that certain countries and peoples are being left out of the race, or that the quality of higher education is diminished where there is overwhelming demand. According to InsideHigherEd, the European delegation is focused on access and equity while the Arab delegation issued a statement on one of the traditional goals of a global higher education system: preserving peace.