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. Higher education and research

    NTEU forum: Universities at a turning point

    22 May 2024

    National President of the NTEU Alison Barnes was joined by President of Education International and former Secretary of the Australian Education Union Susan Hopgood, as well as Professor Julian Garritzmann, a political scientist at Goethe University in Frankfurt, Germany, and Terri MacDonald from NTEU’s Policy and Research Unit. Topics on...

  2. Higher education and research

    Behind the platforms: Safeguarding intellectual property rights and academic freedom in higher education

    8 May 2024

    On May 6 Education International hosted the launch of the study Behind the platforms: Safeguarding intellectual property rights and academic freedom in higher education. The study focuses on potential threats to intellectual property ownership and academic freedom for higher education teachers and researchers caused by the use of edtech platforms.

  3. Leading the profession 6 May 2024

    Are edtech platforms threatening academic freedom and intellectual property rights?

    Janja Komljenovic, Ben Williamson

    Digital platforms are routinely used in universities to support teaching and learning, but they can also challenge academic freedom and intellectual property (IP) rights. In our new report for Education International, ‘Behind the platforms: Safeguarding intellectual property rights and academic freedom in Higher Education’ , we reviewed the landscape of...

    Read more Are edtech platforms threatening academic freedom and intellectual property rights?
  4. Standards and working conditions 26 April 2024

    Argentina marches for public education

    Thousands of people across Argentina rallied in defence of a fundamental pillar of their education system: public universities. Faced with a drastic budget cut of 70 percent and inflation of around 300 percent, the country’s public universities are in serious financial trouble.

    Read more Argentina marches for public education
  5. Standards and working conditions 17 April 2024

    Education Voices | Improving terms and conditions in higher education through collective bargaining in Denmark

    Tommy Dalegaard Madsen

    Tommy Dalegaard Madsen is the Chairman of DM’s Sectoral Board for Vocational Colleges, Vocational Academies and Maritime Education. DM represents 75,000 academic professionals in Denmark, and it is the most representative trade union in further and higher education. In this interview for Worlds of Education, he shares his perspectives on...

    Read more Education Voices | Improving terms and conditions in higher education through collective bargaining in Denmark
more: Our work on higher education and research

Join our Go Public! campaign

  1. Go public! Fund education 22 May 2024

    Universities at the turning point: Go Public! Fund Education

    More public funding of Higher Education is crucial for advancing global knowledge and innovation. Countries investing robustly in education often lead in Research & Development, driving forward their economies and societal advancements.

    Read more Universities at the turning point: Go Public! Fund Education
  2. Go public! Fund education

    Higher Education Funding across the Globe

    An Overview on Funding of Higher and Further Education and Research, its Political and Socio-Economic Causes, and some Consequences, across the Globe
    15 May 2024

    This paper offers an overview on funding of higher and further education across the globe. Drawing on the best available comparative data, it shows how education is funded in different ways. It discusses, for example, how much different countries spend on higher education, how spending has changed over time, how...

    Higher Education Funding across the Globe
    1. Research Paper
    2. Summary
  3. Future of work in education

    Activating the Recommendations of the UN High-Level Panel on the Teaching Profession

    A Guide for Education Unions
    3 April 2024

    The High-Level Panel on the Teaching Profession was convened by the United Nations Secretary-General in response to the global teacher shortage. The Panel brought together academics, ministers, former presidents, teachers and students and their unions.

    Activating the Recommendations of the UN High-Level Panel on the Teaching Profession
    1. Download
  4. Fighting the commercialisation of education 25 October 2023

    Go Public! Advancing Further and Higher Education and Research for the Common Good

    EI's 12th International Further and Higher Education and Research Conference Statement | Mexico, October 2023

    On 24-26 October, Education International (EI) member organisations convened in Mexico City for EI’s 12th Further and Higher Education and Research Conference. Together, they adopted the following statement:

    Read more Go Public! Advancing Further and Higher Education and Research for the Common Good
more: Join our Go Public! campaign

Our publications and research

  1. Go public! Fund education

    Higher Education Funding across the Globe

    An Overview on Funding of Higher and Further Education and Research, its Political and Socio-Economic Causes, and some Consequences, across the Globe
    15 May 2024

    This paper offers an overview on funding of higher and further education across the globe. Drawing on the best available comparative data, it shows how education is funded in different ways. It discusses, for example, how much different countries spend on higher education, how spending has changed over time, how...

    Higher Education Funding across the Globe
    1. Research Paper
    2. Summary
  2. Equity and inclusion

    Behind the platforms: Safeguarding intellectual property rights and academic freedom in Higher Education

    Janja Komljenovic, Ben Williamson
    6 May 2024

    Higher education (HE) faces a complex landscape of digital technology services, shaping educators’ labour and working conditions in new ways. Two particular issues are ownership of intellectual property (IP) and academic freedom when using digital education services such as edtech platforms. Edtech platforms complicate questions of academic ownership of content...

    Behind the platforms: Safeguarding intellectual property rights and academic freedom in Higher Education
    1. Executive Summary
    2. Report
  3. Equity and inclusion

    Toolkit on Open Educational Materials for Higher Education Unions

    Patricia Díaz Charquero, Virginia Rodés Paragarino
    24 October 2023

    Teachers' unions, students, and academic support staff are key players in promoting social dialogue on access to study materials in higher education and fostering transformative action. This toolkit aims to provide unions with basic knowledge about Open Educational Resources (OER) in higher education, as well as practical ideas and examples...

    Toolkit on Open Educational Materials for Higher Education Unions
    1. Download
  4. Achieving Sustainable Development Goal 4

    Higher Education in the International Digital Economy: Effects of Conflicting Copyright Regimes on Cross-Border Teaching

    Patricia Aufderheide, Juliya Ziskina, Kimberly Anastácio
    28 September 2023

    This study investigates how clashing copyright regimes affect the work of cross-border teaching in higher education. It explores constraints on pedagogy both from copyright policies at the national level and from conflicts between regimes internationally. As the recent pandemic demonstrated, and as previous research has shown, pedagogy requires flexibility that...

    Higher Education in the International Digital Economy: Effects of Conflicting Copyright Regimes on Cross-Border Teaching
    1. Download
  5. Future of work in education

    The Global Report on the Status of Teachers 2021

    Greg Thompson
    12 October 2021

    The status of teachers remains a concern in many jurisdictions. Teachers are aware that holding the same qualifications or levels of training as other professions does not bring the same status, despite teaching and facilitating learning being complex work that requires significant expertise.

    The Global Report on the Status of Teachers 2021
    1. The Global Report on the Status of Teachers
    2. The Global Report on the Status of Teachers | Summary
more: Our publications and research

Our statements

  1. Fighting the commercialisation of education 25 October 2023

    Go Public! Advancing Further and Higher Education and Research for the Common Good

    EI's 12th International Further and Higher Education and Research Conference Statement | Mexico, October 2023

    On 24-26 October, Education International (EI) member organisations convened in Mexico City for EI’s 12th Further and Higher Education and Research Conference. Together, they adopted the following statement:

    Read more Go Public! Advancing Further and Higher Education and Research for the Common Good
  2. Trade union rights are human rights 1 June 2022

    Afghanistan: The Taliban regime must stop its attacks on the teaching profession

    Education International condemns the abusive measures imposed by the Taliban government on universities and higher education institutions in Afghanistan. These measures are in clear violation of the principles of academic freedom and institutional autonomy, as enshrined in the 1997 UNESCO Recommendation concerning the status of higher education teaching personnel .

    Read more Afghanistan: The Taliban regime must stop its attacks on the teaching profession
  3. Equity and inclusion 17 November 2016

    Policy Statement on Open Access in Further and Higher Education and Research

    EI's 10th International Further and Higher Education and Research Conference | Ghana, November 2016

    1. The public good is served by the widest and most accessible dissemination of scholarly work and educational material. This can be facilitated when scholars and educators make their work available in reputable open access venues.

    Read more Policy Statement on Open Access in Further and Higher Education and Research
  4. Future of work in education 1 December 2014

    Policy Statement on Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs)

    EI's 9th International Further and Higher Education and Research Conference | Brussels, November 2014

    Preamble Massive open online courses, or MOOCs, represent the latest effort to harness new information and communication technologies to provide higher education. Supporters of MOOCs portray them as an inexpensive and innovative way of delivering content to a vast audience. Increasingly, some see the potential for profits to be made...

    Read more Policy Statement on Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs)
more: Our statements

Our policy on higher education and research

more: Our policy on higher education and research