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UNESCO Forum on Higher Education, Research and Knowledge

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  Forum Program Activities 2008-2009

Thematic Session: Learning, Research and Innovation
7 July 2009, Paris

Several studies will be commissioned and discussed amongst a small selected group of experts in the field. The focus areas will be:
• Session on World-Class Universities and Innovative Tertiary Education Institutions;
• The Contribution of Higher Education, Research and Innovation Systems (HERIS) to a Sustainable Future;
• Women in Higher Education, Research and Innovation (HERI)- Gains and Further Challenges for a Research Agenda;
• How to Develop and Sustain a Higher Education, Research and Innovation System.

Panel at the World Conference on Higher Education
Harnessing the Public and Private, Affirming Higher Education as a Public Responsibility

7 July 2009, Paris

Several studies were commissioned and discussed amongst a small selected group of experts in the field. The focus areas will be:
• The typology of private higher education providers ranging from not for profit (philanthropic; denominational; family enterprises) to for-profit.
• An overview of country cases with a view to missions, disciplines, research areas, student populations etc.;
• Contribution of private higher education to widening access to quality higher education;
• Regulation of private higher education, with a particular focus on quality assurance, accreditation and licensing.

One of the publications produced on this field was A New Dynamic: Private Higher Education

Special Symposium on Higher Education, Research and Innovation Management Policies for African Development
4 July 2009

This symposium will have two foci:
Firstly, it will look at opportunities to develop research policies (related to higher education, research and innovation) in Africa which give directions to the implementing institutions with regard to priority areas of research relevance in this region.
Secondly, it will consider options for research granting mechanisms (both national and regional), as one important institutional component of a system which has both core funding and competitive grants based on scientific excellence in Africa.

Research in Diverse Social Contexts: Tensions, Dynamics and Challenges
19-21 March 2009, Paris, Unesco

This workshop proposes an analysis of the diversity of research contexts across all regions and the implications of these for generating a sustainable knowledge base which can both underpin national policy-making for development and link into international research networks to keep abreast of new discoveries. The theme is inspired by the final indicator in the Template resulting from the Special Initiative to map and analyse research systems. Entitled Tensions, Dynamics and Challenges, this indicator identifies and examines the specific social contexts where research activity is facilitated by investment (e.g. Malaysia, Singapore, Chile, Qatar) or this faces specific challenges and obstacles (e.g. LDCs). Thus, favourable environments, limiting factors, and the diverse challenges posed by major social transformations (e.g. globalization and the current world economic crisis) will be examined.

International Workshop on Innovation for Development: Converting Knowledge to Value
28–30 January 2009, OECD Conference Centre

The Workshop brought together a total of 130 participants - 35 innovation specialists and practitioners and 95 observers and delegates from OECD (24 member countries) and UNESCO (36 member states), including seven African countries. The Workshop examined the role of innovation in development and the ways in which knowledge and R&D, especially in science, engineering and technology, contributes to innovation, with particular reference to social and economic development, addressing basic needs and the MDGs in developing countries, with particular reference to Africa and least developed countries. The following issues, challenges and action agenda for innovation were identified, and the need for international organisations with related interests such as OECD and UNESCO to work more closely together to promote innovation.

Global Research Seminar: Sharing Research Agendas on Knowledge Systems
28-30 November 2008, Paris

The Global Research Seminar is an occasion to gather researchers and research organizations actively engaged in studying Research and Knowledge Systems in all regions of the world. The seminar is interested in research linked to:
– How to study Knowledge and Research Systems- Conceptual and methodological concerns,
– Mapping Research and Knowledge Systems – Case studies and comparative analysis
– Specific Dimensions of Research System such as research governance and policies, human resources, funding, investment, research output, co-operation, tensions and challenges.

- More information about the Global Research Seminar

The Special Initiative for Mapping Research Systems: Finalization and Applications
Based on the feedback from the International Symposium on Comparative Studies of National Research Systems held in Paris 16-18 January 2008, the project leaders Professors Johan Mouton (Stellenboch University) and Ronald Waast (IRD), will finalise the 52 country reviews, the regional reports and the global synthesis reports. Moreover, they will develop their proposed methodology on how to study national research systems and promote it for applications. The work is expected to be finalised by the end of February 2009.

Feasibility Study: Knowledge Bank on Research Systems
A feasibility study will be conducted in late 2008, with the purpose to examine current and alternative options for establishing a longer term Knowledge Bank on Research Systems that is to build on the data already collected by the Forum throughout the years. The location of such Knowledge Bank may possibly be outside UNESCO and in connection with an entity specialized in the field.

Research Report
This report will be a major contribution from the UNESCO Forum to the World Conferences on Higher Education and Science and to the Social Science Forum planned in 2009. Based on the Forum’s body of work since 2001, it will analyse and highlight current and emerging trends related to systems of higher education, research and knowledge. The report is expected to be finalised by April 2009.

CONSULT HERE the 2009 FORUM RESEARCH REPORT, feature publication of the 2009 World Conference on Higher Education.

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