30 July 2018

CGHE conference: the new geopolitics of higher education

In a CGHE working paper published today, political philosopher, author and former politician Professor Michael Ignatieff, Rector and President of Central European University in Budapest, argues that academic freedom and university autonomy are under attack.

The paper is based on Professor Ignatieff’s keynote at CGHE’s annual conference in April this year. Over 300 delegates joined us for the conference at the UCL Institute of Education to explore how our research can help understand the new geopolitics of higher education.

CGHE Director Professor Simon Marginson introduced the theme, emphasising that higher education and research are affected by tensions between the national and the global. He highlighted the growth of participation in higher education, the expansion of science, the rise of China and East Asia, populism, unstable polities and global mobility, and the resource conundrum facing higher education in the UK. Read Professor Marginson’s CGHE working paper, The new geo-politics of higher education.

Other keynote presentations were given by CGHE Co-Investigator Professor Nian Cai Liu who discussed the performance and role of Chinese higher education, and CGHE Deputy Director Professor Claire Callender who asked whether student choice in higher education is reproducing social inequalities.

The conference also included a panel discussion of higher education and equality, chaired by Professor Ellen Hazelkorn, and a number of parallel sessions investigating income contingent loans across the world, the changing UK higher education system, student learning and graduate work and public and private goods in higher education, East and West.

Conference resources

Visit the conference page to access keynote recordings, parallel session presentation slides and background papers.

A selection of photos taken during the conference can be found on CGHE’s Flickr page.