Tertiary Education for the Knowledge Society

Volume 1 and Volume 2

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This book provides a thorough international investigation of tertiary education policy across its many facets – governance, funding, quality assurance, equity, research and innovation, academic career, links to the labour market and internationalisation. It presents an analysis of the trends and developments in tertiary education; a synthesis of research-based evidence on the impact of tertiary-education policies; innovative and successful policies and practices that countries have implemented; and tertiary-education policy options. The report draws on the results of a major OECD review of tertiary education policy – the OECD Thematic Review of Tertiary Education -- conducted over the 2004-08 period in collaboration with 24 countries around the world.

“The new ‘bible’ of Post-secondary education.”

-Paul Cappon, President of the Canadian Council on Learning

 “An exceptionally useful and interesting review.”

-Tom Boland, Chief Executive, Higher Education Authority of Ireland

 “The reference text for the future debate on tertiary education.”

-José Joaquín Brunner, Professor and Director,

Centre for Comparative Education Policies, University of Diego Portales, Chile



English Also available in: Hungarian

Appendix A – How the Review was Conducted

Over the past few decades tertiary education systems have experienced significant transformations. Globalisation and the development of knowledge-based economies have put new demands and pressures upon tertiary education institutions (TEIs). Tertiary education is increasingly expected to satisfy the needs of the economy and society, meet requirements for accountability and build closer links with a variety of stakeholders. During the past 20-30 years, the tertiary education landscape has changed a great deal, with increasingly diverse student populations and the emergence of new types of institutions and modes of study. Growing constraints on public funding, together with the expansion of tertiary education and the emergence of new demands, have encouraged the development of new patterns of financing and management.


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