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7, Place de Fontenoy
75352 PARIS 07 SP, France


Nurturing the democratic debate.  
24-11-2004 5:30 pm Researchers, experts and policy-makers from all regions in the world are expected at UNESCO (Room II) from December 1 to 3 for the Colloquium on Research and Higher Education Policy. The colloquium follows a series of regional meetings that focused on trends in this domain and needed improvements.

Higher education is undergoing major changes today that are often difficult to understand and analyse. With the multiplication of institutions proposing different forms of higher learning, as well as the privatisation and intensification of higher education, governments are faced with fundamental choices. In this context, what research systems and what institutional structures are necessary, financially affordable and sustainable?

The colloquium, which will be opened by UNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura, will cover three themes: knowledge, access and governance. The first theme will encourage an approach to changes in our understanding of knowledge and to the essentially political nature of different “knowledge cultures” in today’s world. The discussions (December 1, 10.45 a.m. to 12 p.m.) chaired by Lidia Arthur Brito, Minister of Higher Education and Science of Mozambique, will evoke the strengths and liabilities of different institutional structures for creation, dissemination and use of knowledge, as well as the way in which the content of higher education determines different concepts of knowledge.

The session devoted to access (December 1, 2 to 3 p.m.), chaired by Hebe Vessuri of the Instituto Venezolano de Investigación Científica, will examine the existing disparities, try to determine their causes and study political strategies that would lead to reducing them. Particular attention will be paid to studying the links between higher education and labour markets.

The session on governance (December 1, 3.30-4.40 p.m.), directed by Ulrich Techler of the University of Kassel in Germany, will take on both the tenuous relationship between higher education and the state, and the multiplicity of economic and social interests involved. The issue of funding research will be highlighted.

The three themes will be brought together on December 2 (Rooms II, XI and XII) during parallel seminars that will examine more specific sub-themes. Research findings, political experiences presented and critical analyses provided will foster the emergence of new themes of convergence, new development strategies and new kinds of decisions.

Journalists wishing to cover the colloquium are requested to obtain accreditation from the Press Relations Section: Tel.+ 33.(0)1 45 68 17 48 /fax 01 45 68 56 52 / i.le-fournis@unesco.org

Source Media advisory No 2004 - 81


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