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. Leading the profession 8 September 2021

    Australia: Court upholds University of Sydney’s collective agreement protecting academic freedom

    The National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) in Australia has welcomed a landmark Federal Court judgment ruling that University of Sydney staff have a legal right to be protected from disciplinary action when exercising intellectual and academic freedom.

    Read more Australia: Court upholds University of Sydney’s collective agreement protecting academic freedom
  2. Standards and working conditions 28 June 2021

    OECD Study: Precarity of Academic Research Careers

    Academic careers have become increasingly precarious, endangering rights, subjecting workers to difficult working conditions and stress. The OECD, at the initiative of its Global Science Forum (GSF) has published a study that makes nine recommendations to improve the situation.

    Read more OECD Study: Precarity of Academic Research Careers
  3. Achieving Sustainable Development Goal 4 18 February 2021

    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
  4. Achieving Sustainable Development Goal 4 17 February 2021

    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
more: Our work on higher education and research

Our policy on higher education and research