OECD Higher Education Stakeholder Forum Launches Two Benchmark Projects

The first OECD Higher Education Stakeholder Forum took place in Paris on June 17, bringing together more than 100 people from 30 countries, including Sergei Malinovsky, Deputy Director of the HSE Institute of Education. At the Forum, participants worked to create proposals aimed at finalizing the design of two projects that the OECD Education Policy Committee will implement in order to develop the field of higher education.

The first project – ‘Effectiveness benchmarking of higher education systems’ – requires that the efficiency of higher education systems in OECD member countries be subject to comprehensive comparison. In the future, this could mean cross-country comparisons of various aspects of higher education with a view to identifying the most fruitful and advantageous practices as a way to promote them further.

The second project involves in-depth analysis of labour markets and how higher education systems meet the challenges of modern economies. This project aims not only to develop tools for comparative monitoring of skills and competencies needed for management of today’s economy, but it also seeks to support and foster networks for collaborative learning.

Both projects are interrelated and are designed to be implemented together. The tools generated by them will be used to compare different countries and to determine effectiveness factors that could subsequently be applied in national educational policies. Forum participants learned about the structure and composition of indicators to monitor the transformation of higher education systems, and arranged them in display units such as management, participation in higher education, funding for higher education, commitment to the labour market, internationalization, etc. A typology of competences and skills that are in demand on the modern labour market was also introduced.

The Forum is only one branch of a broader international dialogue whose participants also take part in implementing other OECD projects related to higher education. The analytical materials obtained in those projects will facilitate the modelling of an optimal structure of the higher education system; they will also provide those working to design higher education reform with practical knowledge on the ways various education policy tools are used and on the means to enhance efficiency of the process.

Following the Forum, Sergei Malinovsky shed light on the key challenges addressed at the event. 

‘Further participation of Russian experts in these projects will enable us to complete the cooperation process on education policy with the OECD, adding the area of higher education, which is currently under-represented, to Russia’s relatively wide-scale involvement in projects on general education’.

In the near future, an OECD report will be finalized on the transformation of higher education systems that describes national cases and sums up best practices. Work on the projects will continue with a broader range of higher education stakeholders; the next meeting is scheduled for autumn 2016.