1. There is an unprecedented demand for and a great diversification in higher
education, as well as an increased awareness of its vital importance for
sociocultural and economic development, and for building the future, for which
the younger generations will need to be equipped with new skills, knowledge and
2. Higher education includes ‘all types of studies, teaching, training and
research at the post-secondary level, provided by universities or other
educational establishments that are approved as institutions of higher education
by the competent authorities.
3. Everywhere higher education is faced with great challenges and difficulties
related to financing, equity of conditions at access into and during the course
of studies, improved staff development, skills-based training, enhancement and
preservation of quality in teaching, research and services, relevance of
programmes, employability of graduates, post-graduates and doctorates,
establishment of efficient co-operation agreements and equitable access to the
benefits of international co-operation.
4. At the same time, higher education is being challenged by new opportunities
relating to technologies that are improving the ways in which knowledge can be
produced, managed, disseminated, accessed and controlled. Equitable access to
these technologies should be ensured at all levels of education systems.
5. The initial years of this century and the last 50 years of the twentieth
century will go down in the history of higher education as the period of its
most spectacular expansion: an over sixfold increase in student enrolments
worldwide. But it is also the period which has seen the gap between the
industrially developed, the developing countries and in particular the least
developed countries with regard to access and resources for higher learning and
research, already enormous, becoming even wider. It has also been a period of
increased socio-economic stratification and greater difference in educational
opportunity within countries, including in some of the most developed and
6. Without adequate higher education and research institutions providing a
critical mass of skilled and educated people, no country can ensure genuine
endogenous and sustainable development and, in particular, developing countries
and the least developed countries cannot reduce the gap separating them from the
industrially developed ones. Sharing knowledge, international co-operation and
new technologies can offer new opportunities to reduce this gap.
7. Higher education has given ample proof of its viability over the centuries
and of its ability to change and to induce change and progress in society. Owing
to the scope and pace of change, society has become increasingly knowledge-based
so that higher learning and research now act as essential components of
cultural, socio-economic and environmentally sustainable development of
individuals, communities and nations.
8. Higher education itself is confronted, therefore, with formidable challenges
and must proceed to the most radical change and renewal it has ever been
required to undertake, so that our society, which is currently undergoing a
profound crisis of values, can transcend mere economic considerations and
incorporate deeper dimensions of morality and spirituality.
9. It is with the aim of providing solutions to these challenges and of setting
in motion a process of in-depth reform in higher education worldwide that the
Confederation of Indian Universities (CIU) is being established with a view to
designing a Masterplan Paradigm for introducing development systems for
strengthening the cause of higher education in the third millennium.
CIU's declaration on higher education
We, the University level Institutions in India assembled at New Delhi on 15
10. Recalling the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which states in Article
26, paragraph 1, that ‘Everyone has the right to education’ and that ‘higher
education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit’, and
endorsing the basic principles of the Convention against Discrimination in
Education (1960), which, by Article 4, commits the States Parties to it to ‘make
higher education equally accessible to all on the basis of individual capacity’.
11. Convinced that education is a fundamental pillar of human rights, democracy,
sustainable development and peace, and shall therefore become accessible to all
throughout life and that measures are required to ensure co-ordination and
co-operation across and between the various sectors, particularly between
general, technical and professional secondary and post-secondary education as
well as between universities, colleges and technical institutions.
12. Believing that, in this context, the solution of the problems faced in the
twenty-first century will be determined by the vision of the future society and
by the role that is assigned to education in general and to higher education in
13. Aware that at the beginning of a new millennium it is the duty of higher
education to ensure that the values and ideals of a culture of peace prevail and
that the intellectual community should be mobilized to that end.
14. Considering that a substantial change and development of higher education,
the enhancement of its quality and relevance, and the solution to the major
challenges it faces, require the strong involvement not only of governments and
of higher education institutions, but also of all stakeholders, including
students and their families, teachers, business and industry, the public and
private sectors of the economy, legislatures, the media, the community,
professional associations and society as well as a greater responsibility of
higher education institutions towards society and accountability in the use of
public and private, national or international resources;
15. Emphasizing that higher education systems should enhance their capacity to
live with uncertainty, to change and bring about change, and to address social
needs and to promote solidarity and equity; should preserve and exercise
scientific rigour and originality, in a spirit of impartiality, as a basic
prerequisite for attaining and sustaining an indispensable level of quality; and
should place students at the centre of their concerns, within a lifelong
perspective, so as to allow their full integration into the global knowledge
society of this new century; and
16. Also believing that international co-operation and exchange are major
avenues for advancing higher education throughout the world.
Proclaim the following:
MISSIONS AND FUNCTIONS OF the
confederation of indian universities
Mission to Educate, to Train and to Undertake Research
We affirm that the core missions and values of higher education, in particular
the mission to contribute to the sustainable development and improvement of
society as a whole, should be preserved, reinforced and further expanded,
17. Educate highly qualified graduates and responsible citizens able to meet the
needs of all sectors of human activity, by offering relevant qualifications,
including professional training, which combine high-level knowledge and skills,
using courses and content continually tailored to the present and future needs
18. Provide opportunities for higher learning and for learning throughout life,
giving to learners an optimal range of choice and a flexibility of entry and
exit points within the system, as well as an opportunity for individual
development and social mobility in order to educate for citizenship and for
active participation in society, with a worldwide vision, for endogenous
capacity-building, and for the consolidation of human rights, sustainable
development, democracy and peace, in a context of justice.
19. Advance, create and disseminate knowledge through research and provide, as
part of its service to the community, relevant expertise to assist societies in
cultural, social and economic development, promoting and developing scientific
and technological research as well as research in the social sciences, the
humanities and the creative arts.
20. Help understand, interpret, preserve, enhance, promote and disseminate
national and regional, international and historic cultures, in a context of
cultural pluralism and diversity.
21. Help protect and enhance societal values by training young people in the
values which form the basis of democratic citizenship and by providing critical
and detached perspectives to assist in the discussion of strategic options and
the reinforcement of humanistic perspectives; and
22. Contribute to the development and improvement of education at all levels,
including through the training of teachers.
Ethical Role, Autonomy, Responsibility and
Higher education institutions and their personnel and students should :
23. Preserve and develop their crucial functions, through the exercise of ethics
and scientific and intellectual rigour in their various activities.
24. Be able to speak out on ethical, cultural and social problems completely
independently and in full awareness of their responsibilities, exercising a kind
of intellectual authority that society needs to help it to reflect, understand
25. Enhance their critical and forward-looking functions, through continuing
analysis of emerging social, economic, cultural and political trends, providing
a focus for forecasting, warning and prevention.
26. Exercise their intellectual capacity and their moral prestige to defend and
actively disseminate universally accepted values, including peace, justice,
freedom, equality and solidarity.
27. Enjoy full academic autonomy and freedom, conceived as a set of rights and
duties, while being fully responsible and accountable to society.
28. Play a role to help identify and to address issues that affect the
well-being of communities, nations and global society.
SHAPING A NEW VISION OF HIGHER EDUCATION
Equity of Access
29. In keeping with Article 26.1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,
admission to higher education should be based on the merit, capacity, efforts,
perseverance and devotion, showed by those seeking access to it, and can take
place in a lifelong scheme, at any time, with due recognition of previously
acquired skills. As a consequence, no discrimination can be accepted in granting
access to higher education on grounds of race, gender, language or religion, or
economic, cultural or social distinctions, or physical disabilities.
30. Equity of access to higher education should begin with the reinforcement
and, if need be, the reordering of its links with all other levels of education,
particularly with secondary education. Higher education institutions must be
viewed as, and must also work within themselves to be a part of and encourage, a
seamless system starting with early childhood and primary education and
continuing through life. Higher education institutions must work in active
partnership with parents, schools, students, socio-economic groups and
31. Secondary education should not only prepare qualified candidates for access
to higher education by developing the capacity to learn on a broad basis but
also open the way to active life by providing training on a wide range of jobs.
However, access to higher education should remain open to those successfully
completing secondary school, or its equivalent, or presenting entry
qualifications, as far as possible, at any age and without any discrimination.
32. As a consequence, the rapid and wide-reaching demand for higher education
requires, where appropriate, all policies concerning access to higher education
to give priority in the future to the approach based on the merit of the
33. Access to higher education for members of some special target groups, such
as indigenous peoples, cultural and linguistic minorities, disadvantaged groups,
peoples living under occupation and those who suffer from disabilities, must be
actively facilitated, since these groups as collectivities and as individuals
may have both experience and talent that can be of great value for the
development of societies and nations. Special material help and educational
solutions can help overcome the obstacles that these groups face, both in
accessing and in continuing higher education.
Enhancing Participation and Promoting the Role of Women
34. Although significant progress has been achieved to enhance the access of
women to higher education, various socio-economic, cultural and political
obstacles continue in many places in the world to impede their full access and
effective integration. To overcome them remains an urgent priority in the
renewal process for ensuring an equitable and non-discriminatory system of
higher education based on the principle of merit.
35. Further efforts are required to eliminate all gender stereotyping in higher
education, to consider gender aspects in different disciplines and to
consolidate women’s participation at all levels and in all disciplines, in which
they are under-represented and, in particular, to enhance their active
involvement in decision-making.
36. Gender studies (women’s studies) should be promoted as a field of knowledge,
strategic for the transformation of higher education and society.
37. Efforts should be made to eliminate political and social barriers whereby
women are under-represented and in particular to enhance their active
involvement at policy and decision-making levels within higher education and
Advancing Knowledge through Research in
Science, the Arts and Humanities and the
Dissemination of its Results
38. The advancement of knowledge through research is an essential function of
all systems of higher education, which should promote postgraduate studies.
Innovation, interdisciplinarity and transdisciplinarity should be promoted and
reinforced in programmes with long-term orientations on social and cultural aims
and needs. An appropriate balance should be established between basic and
40. Institutions should ensure that all members of the academic community
engaged in research are provided with appropriate training, resources and
support. The intellectual and cultural rights on the results of research should
be used to the benefit of humanity and should be protected so that they cannot
41. Research must be enhanced in all disciplines, including the social and human
sciences, education (including higher education), engineering, natural sciences,
mathematics, informatics and the arts within the framework of national, regional
and international research and development policies. Of special importance is
the enhancement of research capacities in higher education and research
institutions, as mutual enhancement of quality takes place when higher education
and research are conducted at a high level within the same institution. These
institutions should find the material and financial support required, from both
public and private sources.
Long-Term Orientation based on Relevance
42. Relevance in higher education should be assessed in terms of the fit between
what society expects of institutions and what they do. This requires ethical
standards, political impartiality, critical capacities and, at the same time, a
better articulation with the problems of society and the world of work, basing
long-term orientations on societal aims and needs, including respect for
cultures and environmental protection. The concern is to provide access to both
broad general education and targeted, career-specific education, often
interdisciplinary, focusing on skills and aptitudes, both of which equip
individuals to live in a variety of changing settings, and to be able to change
43. Higher education should reinforce its role of service to society, especially
its activities aimed at eliminating poverty, intolerance, violence, illiteracy,
hunger, environmental degradation and disease, mainly through an
interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary approach in the analysis of problems and
44. Higher education should enhance its contribution to the development of the
whole education system, notably through improved teacher education, curriculum
development and educational research.
45. Ultimately, higher education should aim at the creation of a new society -
non-violent and non-exploitative - consisting of highly cultivated, motivated
and integrated individuals, inspired by love for humanity and guided by wisdom.
Strengthening Co-operation with the World of Work and Analysing and Anticipating
46. In economies characterized by changes and the emergence of new production
paradigms based on knowledge and its application, and on the handling of
information, the links between higher education, the world of work and other
parts of society should be strengthened and renewed.
47. Links with the world of work can be strengthened, through the participation
of its representatives in the governance of institutions, the increased use of
domestic and international apprenticeship/work-study opportunities for students
and teachers, the exchange of personnel between the world of work and higher
education institutions and revised curricula more closely aligned with working
48. As a lifelong source of professional training, updating and recycling,
institutions of higher education should systematically take into account trends
in the world of work and in the scientific, technological and economic sectors.
In order to respond to the work requirements, higher education systems and the
world of work should jointly develop and assess learning processes, bridging
programmes and prior learning assessment and recognition programmes, which
integrate theory and training on the job. Within the framework of their
anticipatory function, higher education institutions could contribute to the
creation of new jobs, although that is not their only function.
49. Developing entrepreneurial skills and initiative should become major
concerns of higher education, in order to facilitate employability of graduates
who will increasingly be called upon to be not only job seekers but also and
above all to become job creators. Higher education institutions should give the
opportunity to students to fully develop their own abilities with a sense of
social responsibility, educating them to become full participants in democratic
society and promoters of changes that will foster equity and justice.
Diversification for Enhanced Equity of Opportunity
50. Diversifying higher education models and recruitment methods and criteria is
essential both to meet increasing international demand and to provide access to
various delivery modes and to extend access to an ever-wider public, in a
lifelong perspective, based on flexible entry and exit points to and from the
system of higher education.
51. More diversified systems of higher education are characterized by new types
of tertiary institutions: public, private and non-profit institutions, amongst
others. Institutions should be able to offer a wide variety of education and
training opportunities: traditional degrees, short courses, part-time study,
flexible schedules, modularized courses, supported learning at a distance, etc.
Innovative Educational Approaches: Critical
Thinking and Creativity
52. In a world undergoing rapid changes, there is a perceived need for a new
vision and paradigm of higher education, which should be student-oriented,
calling in most countries for in-depth reforms and an open access policy so as
to cater to ever more diversified categories of people, and of its contents,
methods, practices and means of delivery, based on new types of links and
partnerships with the community and with the broadest sectors of society.
53. Higher education institutions should educate students to become well
informed and deeply motivated citizens, who can think critically, analyse
problems of society, look for solutions to the problems of society, apply them
and accept social responsibilities.
54. To achieve these goals, it may be necessary to recast curricula, using new
and appropriate methods, so as to go beyond cognitive mastery of disciplines.
New pedagogical and didactical approaches should be accessible and promoted in
order to facilitate the acquisition of skills, competencies and abilities for
communication, creative and critical analysis, independent thinking and team
work in multicultural contexts, where creativity also involves combining
traditional or local knowledge and know-how with advanced science and
technology. These recast curricula should take into account the gender dimension
and the specific cultural, historic and economic context of each country. The
teaching of human rights standards and education on the needs of communities in
all parts of the world should be reflected in the curricula of all disciplines,
particularly those preparing for entrepreneurship. Academic personnel should
play a significant role in determining the curriculum.
55. New methods of education will also imply new types of teaching-learning
materials. These have to be coupled with new methods of testing that will
promote not only powers of memory but also powers of comprehension, skills for
practical work and creativity.
Higher Education Personnel and Students as Major Actors
56. A vigorous policy of staff development is an essential element of higher
education institutions. Clear policies should be established concerning higher
education teachers, who nowadays need to focus on teaching students how to learn
and how to take initiatives rather than being exclusively founts of knowledge.
Adequate provision should be made for research and for updating and improving
pedagogical skills, through appropriate staff development programmes,
encouraging constant innovation in curricula, teaching and learning methods, and
ensuring appropriate professional and financial status, and for excellence in
research and teaching. Furthermore, in view of the role of higher education for
lifelong learning, experience outside the institutions ought to be considered as
a relevant qualification for higher educational staff.
57. Clear policies should be established by all higher education institutions
preparing teachers of early childhood education and for primary and secondary
schools, providing stimulus for constant innovation in curricula, best practices
in teaching methods and familiarity with diverse learning styles. It is vital to
have appropriately trained administrative and technical personnel.
58. National and institutional decision-makers should place students and their
needs at the centre of their concerns, and should consider them as major
partners and responsible stakeholders in the renewal of higher education. This
should include student involvement in issues that affect that level of
education, in evaluation, the renovation of teaching methods and curricula and,
in the institutional framework in force, in policy-formulation and institutional
management. As students have the right to organize and represent themselves,
students’ involvement in these issues should be guaranteed.
59. Guidance and counselling services should be developed, in cooperation with
student organizations, in order to assist students in the transition to higher
education at whatever age and to take account of the needs of ever more
diversified categories of learners. Apart from those entering higher education
from schools or further education colleges, they should also take account of the
needs of those leaving and returning in a lifelong process. Such support is
important in ensuring a good match between student and course, reducing
drop-out. Students who do drop out should have suitable opportunities to return
to higher education if and when appropriate.
FROM VISION TO ACTION
60. Quality in higher education is a multidimensional concept, which should
embrace all its functions, and activities: teaching and academic programmes,
research and scholarship, staffing, students, buildings, facilities, equipment,
services to the community and the academic environment. Internal self-evaluation
and external review, conducted openly by independent specialists, if possible
with international expertise, are vital for enhancing quality. Independent
national bodies should be established and comparative standards of quality,
recognized at international level, should be defined. Due attention should be
paid to specific institutional, national and regional contexts in order to take
into account diversity and to avoid uniformity. Stakeholders should be an
integral part of the institutional evaluation process.
61. Quality also requires that higher education should be characterized by its
international dimension: exchange of knowledge, interactive networking, mobility
of teachers and students, and international research projects, while taking into
account the national cultural values and circumstances.
62. To attain and sustain national, regional or international quality, certain
components are particularly relevant, notably careful selection of staff and
continuous staff development, in particular through the promotion of appropriate
programmes for academic staff development, including teaching/learning
methodology and mobility between countries, between higher education
institutions, and between higher education institutions and the world of work,
as well as student mobility within and between countries. The new information
technologies are an important tool in this process, owing to their impact on the
acquisition of knowledge and know-how.
The Potential and the Challenge of Technology
63. The rapid breakthroughs in new information and communication technologies
will further change the way knowledge is developed, acquired and delivered. It
is also important to note that the new technologies offer opportunities to
innovate on course content and teaching methods and to widen access to higher
learning. However, it should be borne in mind that new information technology
does not reduce the need for teachers but changes their role in relation to the
learning process and that the continuous dialogue that converts information into
knowledge and understanding becomes fundamental. Higher education institutions
should lead in drawing on the advantages and potential of new information and
communication technologies, ensuring quality and maintaining high standards for
education practices and outcomes in a spirit of openness, equity and
international co-operation by:
64. Engaging in networks, technology transfer, capacity-building, developing
teaching materials and sharing experience of their application in teaching,
training and research, and making knowledge accessible to all;
65. Creating new learning environments, ranging from distance education
facilities to complete virtual higher education institutions and systems,
capable of bridging distances and developing high-quality systems of education,
thus serving social and economic advancement and democratization as well as
other relevant priorities of society, while ensuring that these virtual
education facilities, based on regional, continental or global networks,
function in a way that respects cultural and social identities;
66. Noting that, in making full use of information and communication technology
(ICT) for educational purposes, particular attention should be paid to removing
the grave inequalities which exist among and also within the countries of the
world with regard to access to new information and communication technologies
and to the production of the corresponding resources;
67. Adapting ICT to national, regional and local needs and securing technical,
educational, management and institutional systems to sustain it;
68. Facilitating, through international co-operation, the identification of the
objectives and interests of all countries, particularly the developing
countries, equitable access and the strengthening of infrastructures in this
field and the dissemination of such technology throughout society;
69. Closely following the evolution of the ‘knowledge society’ in order to
ensure high quality and equitable regulations for access to prevail;
70. Taking the new possibilities created by the use of ICTs into account, while
realizing that it is, above all, institutions of higher education that are using
ICTs in order to modernize their work, and not ICTs transforming institutions of
higher education from real to virtual institutions.
Strengthening Higher Education Management and Financing
71. The management and financing of higher education require the development of
appropriate planning and policy-analysis capacities and strategies, based on
partnerships established between higher education institutions and state and
national planning and co-ordination bodies, so as to secure appropriately
streamlined management and the cost-effective use of resources. Higher education
institutions should adopt forward-looking management practices that respond to
the needs of their environments. Managers in higher education must be
responsive, competent and able to evaluate regularly, by internal and external
mechanisms, the effectiveness of procedures and administrative rules.
72. Higher education institutions must be given autonomy to manage their
internal affairs, but with this autonomy must come clear and transparent
accountability to the government, legislature, students and the wider society.
73. The ultimate goal of management should be to enhance the institutional
mission by ensuring high-quality teaching, training and research, and services
to the community. This objective requires governance that combines social
vision, including understanding of global issues, with efficient managerial
skills. Leadership in higher education is thus a major social responsibility and
can be significantly strengthened through dialogue with all stakeholders,
especially teachers and students, in higher education. The participation of
teaching faculty in the governing bodies of higher education institutions should
be taken into account, within the framework of current institutional
arrangements, bearing in mind the need to keep the size of these bodies within
74. The promotion of North-South co-operation to ensure the necessary financing
for strengthening higher education in the developing countries is essential.
Financing of Higher Education as a Public Service
The funding of higher education requires both public and private resources. The
role of the government remains essential in this regard.
75. The diversification of funding sources reflects the support that society
provides to higher education and must be further strengthened to ensure the
development of higher education, increase its efficiency and maintain its
quality and relevance. Public support for higher education and research remains
essential to ensure a balanced achievement of educational and social missions.
76. Society as a whole must support education at all levels, including higher
education, given its role in promoting sustainable economic, social and cultural
development. Mobilization for this purpose depends on public awareness and
involvement of the public and private sectors of the economy, legislature, the
media, governmental and non-governmental organizations, students as well as
institutions, families and all the social actors involved with higher education.
Sharing Knowledge and Know-How across Borders and Continents
77. The principle of solidarity and true partnership amongst higher education
institutions worldwide is crucial for education and training in all fields that
encourage an understanding of global issues, the role of democratic governance
and skilled human resources in their resolution, and the need for living
together with different cultures and values. The practice of multilingualism,
faculty and student exchange programmes and institutional linkage to promote
intellectual and scientific co-operation should be an integral part of all
higher education systems.
78. The principles of international co-operation based on solidarity,
recognition and mutual support, true partnership that equitably serves the
interests of the partners and the value of sharing knowledge and know-how across
borders should govern relationships among higher education institutions in both
developed and developing countries and should benefit the least developed
countries in particular. Consideration should be given to the need for
safeguarding higher education institutional capacities in regions suffering from
conflict or natural disasters. Consequently, an international dimension should
permeate the curriculum, and the teaching and learning processes.
79. Regional and international normative instruments for the recognition of
studies should be ratified and implemented, including certification of the
skills, competencies and abilities of graduates, making it easier for students
to change courses, in order to facilitate mobility within and between national
From ‘Brain Drain’ to ‘Brain Gain’
80. The ‘brain drain’ has yet to be stemmed, since it continues to deprive the
developing countries and those in transition, of the high-level expertise
necessary to accelerate their socio-economic progress. International
co-operation schemes should be based on long-term partnerships between
institutions in the South and the North, and also promote South-South
co-operation. Priority should be given to training programmes in the developing
countries, in centres of excellence forming regional and international networks,
with short periods of specialized and intensive study abroad.
81. Consideration should be given to creating an environment conducive to
attracting and retaining skilled human capital, either through national policies
or international arrangements to facilitate the return - permanent or temporary
- of highly trained scholars and researchers to their countries of origin. At
the same time, efforts must be directed towards a process of ‘brain gain’
through collaboration programmes that, by virtue of their international
dimension, enhance the building and strengthening of institutions and facilitate
full use of endogenous capacities.
Partnership and Alliances
82. Partnership and alliances amongst stakeholders - national and institutional
policy-makers, teaching and related staff, researchers and students, and
administrative and technical personnel in institutions of higher education, the
world of work, community groups - is a powerful force in managing change. Also,
non-governmental organizations are key actors in this process. Henceforth,
partnership, based on common interest, mutual respect and credibility, should be
a prime matrix for renewal in higher education.
The Confederation of Indian Universities (CIU) adopts this Declaration and
reaffirms the right of all people to education and the right of access to higher
education based on individual merit and capacity.
The Confederation of Indian Universities (CIU) pledges to act together within
the frame of our individual and collective responsibilities, by taking all
necessary measures in order to realize the principles concerning higher
education contained in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and in the
Convention against Discrimination in Education.
The Confederation of Indian Universities (CIU) solemnly reaffirms the commitment
to peace. To that end, CIU is determined to accord high priority to education
for reducing peacelessness, unemployment, pollution and intolerance.
The Confederation of Indian Universities (CIU) adopts, therefore, this
Declaration on Higher Education and Development. To achieve the goals set forth
in this Declaration and, in particular, for immediate action, CIU agrees on the
following Framework for Priority Action for Change and Development of Higher
FRAMEWORK FOR PRIORITY ACTION FOR CHANGE AND DEVELOPMENT OF HIGHER EDUCATION
Priority Actions at National Level
States, including their governments, legislatures and other decision-makers,
83. Establish, where appropriate, the legislative, political and financial
framework for the reform and further development of higher education, in keeping
with the terms of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which establishes
that higher education shall be ‘accessible to all on the basis of merit’. No
discrimination can be accepted, no one can be excluded from higher education or
its study fields, degree levels and types of institutions on grounds of race,
gender, language, religion, or age or because of any economic or social
distinctions or physical disabilities;
84. Reinforce the links between higher education and research;
85. Consider and use higher education as a catalyst for the entire education
86. Develop higher education institutions to include lifelong learning
approaches, giving learners an optimal range of choice and a flexibility of
entry and exit points within the system, and redefine their role accordingly,
which implies the development of open and continuous access to higher learning
and the need for bridging programmes and prior learning assessment and
87. Make efforts, when necessary, to establish close links between higher
education and research institutions, taking into account the fact that education
and research are two closely related elements in the establishment of knowledge;
88. Develop innovative schemes of collaboration between institutions of higher
education and different sectors of society to ensure that higher education and
research programmes effectively contribute to local, regional and national
89. Fulfil their commitments to higher education and be accountable for the
pledges adopted with their concurrence, at several forums, particularly over the
past decade, with regard to human, material and financial resources, human
development and education in general, and to higher education in particular;
90. Have a policy framework to ensure new partnerships and the involvement of
all relevant stakeholders in all aspects of higher education: the evaluation
process, including curriculum and pedagogical renewal, and guidance and
counselling services; and, in the framework of existing institutional
arrangements, policy-making and institutional governance;
91. Define and implement policies to eliminate all gender stereotyping in higher
education and to consolidate women’s participation at all levels and in all
disciplines in which they are under-represented at present and, in particular,
to enhance their active involvement in decision-making;
92. Recognize students as the centre of attention of higher education, and one
of its stakeholders. They should be involved, by means of adequate institutional
structures, in the renewal of their level of education (including curriculum and
pedagogical reform), and policy decision, in the framework of existing
93. Recognize that students have the right to organize themselves autonomously;
94. Promote and facilitate national and international mobility of teaching staff
and students as an essential part of the quality and relevance of higher
95. Provide and ensure those conditions necessary for the exercise of academic
freedom and institutional autonomy so as to allow institutions of higher
education, as well as those individuals engaged in higher education and
research, to fulfil their obligations to society.
96. States in which enrolment in higher education is low by internationally
accepted comparative standards should strive to ensure a level of higher
education adequate for relevant needs in the public and private sectors of
society and to establish plans for diversifying and expanding access,
particularly benefiting all minorities and disadvantaged groups.
97. The interface with general, technical and professional secondary education
should be reviewed in depth, in the context of lifelong learning. Access to
higher education in whatever form must remain open to those successfully
completing secondary education or its equivalent or meeting entry qualifications
at any age, while creating gateways to higher education, especially for older
students without any formal secondary education certificates, by attaching more
importance to their professional experience. However, preparation for higher
education should not be the sole or primary purpose of secondary education,
which should also prepare for the world of work, with complementary training
whenever required, in order to provide knowledge, capacities and skills for a
wide range of jobs. The concept of bridging programmes should be promoted to
allow those entering the job market to return to studies at a later date.
98. Concrete steps should be taken to reduce the widening gap between
industrially developed and developing countries, in particular the least
developed countries, with regard to higher education and research. Concrete
steps are also needed to encourage increased co-operation between countries at
all levels of economic development with regard to higher education and research.
Consideration should be given to making budgetary provisions for that purpose,
and developing mutually beneficial agreements in order to sustain co-operative
activities and projects through appropriate incentives and funding in education,
research and the development of high-level experts.
PRIORITY ACTIONS AT THE LEVEL OF SYSTEMS AND INSTITUTIONS
99. Each higher education institution should define its mission according to the
present and future needs of society and base it on an awareness of the fact that
higher education is essential for any country or region to reach the necessary
level of sustainable and environmentally sound economic and social development,
cultural creativity nourished by better knowledge and understanding of the
cultural heritage, higher living standards, and internal and international
harmony and peace, based on human rights, democracy, tolerance and mutual
respect. These missions should incorporate the concept of academic freedom.
In establishing priorities in their programmes and structures, higher education
100. Take into account the need to abide by the rules of ethics and scientific
and intellectual rigour, and the multidisciplinary and transdisciplinary
101. Be primarily concerned to establish systems of access for the benefit of
all persons who have the necessary abilities and motivations;
102. Use their autonomy and high academic standards to contribute to the
sustainable development of society and to the resolution of the issues facing
the society of the future. They should develop their capacity to give
forewarning through the analysis of emerging social, cultural, economic and
political trends, approached in a multidisciplinary and transdisciplinary
manner, giving particular attention to:
high quality, a clear sense of the social pertinence of studies and their
anticipatory function, based on scientific grounds;
knowledge of fundamental social questions, in particular related to the
elimination of poverty, to sustainable development, to intercultural dialogue
and to the shaping of a culture of peace;
the need for close connection with effective research organizations or
institutions that perform well in the sphere of research; and
fundamentals of human ethics, applied to each profession and to all areas of
103. Ensure, especially in universities and as far as possible, that faculty
members participate in teaching, research, tutoring students and steering
104. Take all necessary measures to reinforce their service to the community,
especially their activities aimed at eliminating poverty, intolerance, violence,
illiteracy, hunger and disease, through an interdisciplinary and
transdisciplinary approach in the analysis of challenges, problems and different
105. Set their relations with the world of work on a new basis involving
effective partnerships with all social actors concerned, starting from a
reciprocal harmonization of action and the search for solutions to pressing
problems of humanity, all this within a framework of responsible autonomy and
106. Ensure high quality of international standing, consider accountability and
both internal and external evaluation, with due respect for autonomy and
academic freedom, as being normal and inherent in their functioning, and
institutionalize transparent systems, structures or mechanisms specific thereto.
107. As lifelong education requires academic staff to update and improve their
teaching skills and learning methods, even more than in the present systems
mainly based on short periods of higher teaching, establish appropriate academic
staff development structures and/or mechanisms and programmes.
108. Promote and develop research, which is a necessary feature of all higher
education systems, in all disciplines, including the human and social sciences
and arts, given their relevance for development are needed to ensure continued
progress towards such key national objectives as access, equity, quality,
relevance and diversification.
109. Remove gender inequalities and biases in curricula and research, and take
all appropriate measures to ensure balanced representation of both men and women
among students and teachers, at all levels of management.
110. Provide, where appropriate, guidance and counselling, remedial courses,
training in how to study and other forms of student support, including measures
to improve student living conditions.
111. While the need for closer links between higher education and the world of
work is important worldwide, it is particularly vital for the developing
countries and especially the least developed countries, given their low level of
economic development. Governments of these countries should take appropriate
measures to reach this objective through appropriate measures such as
strengthening institutions for higher/professional/vocational education. At the
same time, international action is needed in order to help establish joint
undertakings between higher education and industry in these countries. It will
be necessary to give consideration to ways in which higher education graduates
could be supported, through various schemes, following the positive experience
of the micro-credit system and other incentives, in order to start small- and
medium-size enterprises. At the institutional level, developing entrepreneurial
skills and initiative should become a major concern of higher education, in
order to facilitate employability of graduates who will increasingly be required
not only to be job-seekers but to become job-creators.
112. The use of new technologies should be generalized to the greatest extent
possible to help higher education institutions, to reinforce academic
development, to widen access, to attain universal scope and to extend knowledge,
as well as to facilitate education throughout life. Governments, educational
institutions and the private sector should ensure that informatics and
communication network infrastructures, computer facilities and human resources
training are adequately provided.
Institutions of higher education should be open to adult learners:
113. By developing coherent mechanisms to recognize the outcomes of learning
undertaken in different contexts, and to ensure that credit is transferable
within and between institutions, sectors and states.
114. By establishing joint higher education/community research and training
partnerships, and by bringing the services of higher education institutions to
115. By carrying out interdisciplinary research in all aspects of adult
education and learning with the participation of adult learners themselves.
116. By creating opportunities for adult learning in flexible, open and creative
ACTIONS TO BE TAKEN AT INTERNATIONAL
117. Co-operation should be conceived of as an integral part of the
institutional missions of higher education institutions and systems.
Inter-governmental organizations, donor agencies and non-governmental
organizations should extend their action in order to develop inter-university
co-operation projects in particular through twinning institutions, based on
solidarity and partnership, as a means of bridging the gap between rich and poor
countries in the vital areas of knowledge production and application. Each
institution of higher education should envisage the creation of an appropriate
structure and/or mechanism for promoting and managing international
118. The intergovernmental organizations and non-governmental organizations
active in higher education, the states through their bilateral and multilateral
co-operation programmes, the academic community and all concerned partners in
society should further promote international academic mobility as a means to
advance knowledge and knowledge-sharing in order to bring about and promote
solidarity as a main element of the global knowledge society of tomorrow,
including through strong support a the joint work plan 2004-2010 on the
recognition of studies, degrees and diplomas in higher education and through
large-scale co-operative action involving, inter alia, the establishment of an
educational credit transfer scheme, with particular emphasis on South-South
co-operation, the needs of the least developed countries and of the small states
with few higher education institutions or none at all.
119. Institutions of higher education in industrialized countries should strive
to make arrangements for international co-operation with sister institutions in
developing countries and in particular with those of poor countries. In their
co-operation, the institutions should make efforts to ensure fair and just
recognition of studies abroad. Initiatives should be taken to develop higher
education throughout the world, setting itself clear-cut goals that could lead
to tangible results. One method might be to implement projects in different
regions renewing efforts towards creating and/or strengthening centres of
excellence in developing countries relying on networks of national, regional and
international higher education institutions.
120. All concerned parts of society, should also undertake action in order to
alleviate the negative effects of ‘brain drain’ and to shift to a dynamic
process of ‘brain gain’. An overall analysis is required in all regions of the
world of the causes and effects of brain drain. A vigorous campaign should be
launched through the concerted effort of the international community and on the
basis of academic solidarity and should encourage the return to their home
country of expatriate academics, as well as the involvement of university
volunteers - newly retired academics or young academics at the beginning of
their career - who wish to teach and undertake research at higher education
institutions in developing countries. At the same time it is essential to
support the developing countries in their efforts to build and strengthen their
own educational capacities.
Within this framework, International Organisations should:
121. Promote better co-ordination among intergovernmental, supranational and
non-governmental organizations, agencies and foundations that sponsor existing
programmes and projects for international co-operation in higher education.
Furthermore, co-ordination efforts should take place in the context of national
priorities. This could be conducive to the pooling and sharing of resources,
avoid overlapping and promote better identification of projects, greater impact
of action and increased assurance of their validity through collective agreement
and review. Programmes aiming at the rapid transfer of knowledge, supporting
institutional development and establishing centres of excellence in all areas of
knowledge, in particular for peace education, conflict resolution, human rights
and democracy, should be supported by institutions and by public and private
122. Jointly with the various intergovernmental and non-governmental
organizations, become a forum of reflection on higher education issues aiming
(i) preparing update reports on the state of knowledge on higher education
issues in all parts of the world;
(ii) promoting innovative projects of training and research, intended to enhance
the specific role of higher education in lifelong education;
(iii) reinforcing international co-operation and emphasizing the role of higher
education for citizenship education, sustainable development and peace; and
(iv) facilitating exchange of information and establishing, when appropriate, a
database on successful experiences and innovations that can be consulted by
institutions confronted with problems in their reforms of higher education.
123. Take specific action to support institutions of higher education in the
least developed parts of the world and in regions suffering the effects of
conflict or natural disasters.
124. Make renewed efforts towards creating or/and strengthening centres of
excellence in developing countries.
125. Take the initiative to draw up an international instrument on academic
freedom, autonomy and social responsibility.
Ensure follow-up of this Declaration jointly with other inter-governmental and
non-governmental organizations and with all higher education stakeholders. It
should have a crucial role in promoting international cooperation in the field
of higher education in implementing this follow-up under the aegis of the
Confederation of Indian Universities (CIU) and in the light of the following
126. At the start of the twenty-first century, universities nationwide and
worldwide, though their circumstances differ, face important and common
127. The phenomenon of globalisation which affects diverse sectors - the
economy, the media, etc. - also has its impact on higher education throughout
the world. It demands change and an explicit policy of internationalisation by
127. The unprecedented development of information and communication technologies
is an important vehicle in the processes of globalisation and technological
accleration which carry with them opportunities and challenges that are specific
to universities and to the way they fulfil their missions.
128. More than ever, the creation of knowledge, access to knowledge and its
development are central to the development of societies. The knowledge society
requires a new generation of skilled people. In this context, demand for more
differentiated higher and continuing education, including professional
development as well as open and distance learning, is in all countries expanding
and, in some regions, overwhelming.
129. The rapid production of knowledge and technological development spur on the
quest for quality, excellence and relevance. The university has a special
responsibility to ensure that attention is paid to solving ethical questions. In
this setting, the university's critical role towards society assumes a new
130. The preconditions for universities and other types of higher education
institutions to cope successfully with new challenges such as these remain,
however, basically unchanged. These preconditions include autonomy of action,
academic freedom and adequate human and financial resources.
131. For higher education of quality to be today and in the future a motor of
social, cultural and economic development, other conditions are required,
amongst which effective dialogue with external partners and responsible
As a social institution, the university cannot be replaced. Hence, it must
continue to adapt and change if the challenges are to be met. It will remain an
institution central to societies throughout the world as long as its activities
make a difference to better the condition of humankind.