Ei-iE

Higher Education and Research

Spotlight

We champion higher education and research as a public service, not a commercial enterprise. We advocate at the international level to ensure high quality, accessibility and the freedom of staff to teach and conduct research free from political, economic or other special interests.

Higher education and research must be publicly funded and administered, and accessible to all qualified students without financial or social barriers. We oppose privatisation and marketisation, the trade in education services and intellectual property, and the casualisation of employment.

We promote the academic and employment rights of staff by advocating for the implementation of the UNESCO Recommendation Concerning the Status of Higher Education Teaching Personnel. We work closely with UNESCO, the ILO and other UN bodies, and lobby international agencies such as the OECD, the World Bank, and the World Trade Organisation. At the European level, we are a consultative member of the Bologna Follow-up Group.

We also campaign to support colleagues whose academic freedom and civil liberties are under attack, and we defend the trade union rights of member organisations.

Building solidarity and strength within the sector is a key part of our work. We organise a biannual international conference to share best practices and to collectively confront the global challenges before us.

Our work on higher education and research

  1. Achieving Sustainable Development Goal 4 2021-02-18

    Iraq: Academics’ freedom and trade union rights under attack

    The Association of Iraqi Academics (AIA) has warned against the abrogation of the law allowing Iraqi academics to perform trade union activities. It has also called for solidarity with them and support for their rights of association and organisation.

    Read more Iraq: Academics’ freedom and trade union rights under attack
  2. Achieving Sustainable Development Goal 4 2021-02-17

    USA: Trade union joins call for a New Deal for Higher Education

    The American Federation of Teachers (AFT) and the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) have launched a campaign calling for increased funding and reforms in public colleges and universities. The two organisations have partnered in this campaign because a crisis for higher education means a crisis for democracy.

    Read more USA: Trade union joins call for a New Deal for Higher Education
  3. Achieving Sustainable Development Goal 4 2021-02-15

    Education unions defend and promote academic freedom around the world!

    Academic freedom is in a dire state globally, according to attendees at the recent International Further and Higher Education and Research Conference (IFHERC). Organised virtually by Education International, the conference also expressed its solidarity with harassed and imprisoned academics worldwide, especially in Myanmar and Hong Kong.

    Read more Education unions defend and promote academic freedom around the world!
  4. Fighting the commercialisation of education 2021-02-09

    “Post-pandemic reform of higher education: Market-first or purpose-first digital transformation?”, by Ben Williamson and Anna Hogan.

    Ben Williamson, Anna Hogan

    Educational technologies have become central to higher education during the COVID-19 pandemic. The state of emergency in tertiary systems worldwide has enabled private edtech companies, global tech businesses, and the networks of promoters backing them, to define the post-pandemic future of the university.

    Read more “Post-pandemic reform of higher education: Market-first or purpose-first digital transformation?”, by Ben Williamson and Anna Hogan.
more: Our work on higher education and research

Our policy on higher education and research