OECD-landen willen hervorming HO

Nieuws | de redactie
29 juni 2006 | Op een OESO-conferentie in Athene op 26-27 juni 2006 hebben de HO-ministers het belang van hervormingen in het hoger onderwijs erkend. “Hoger onderwijs speelt een essentiële rol in het bevorderen van economische groei en sociale cohesie”, zo zei de Griekse onderwijsminister Marietta Giannakou, die de conferentie leidde, na af loop. “We waren het er allemaal over eens dat er grote veranderingen nodig zijn in het hoger onderwijs”. Het gaat daarbij onder meer om het aanpassen van het immigratiebeleid aan de toenemende internationalisering in het hoger onderwijs, en de verhoging van collegegelden.

Het bureau van de OESO zelf gaat zich de komende jaren richten op het ontwikkelen van nieuwe methodes om studieresultaten te meten. U leest hier Giannakou’s samenvatting van de gemaakte afspraken.

“Higher education plays a vital role in driving economic growth and social cohesion. It has grown dramatically — with more than 17,000 higher education institutions in the world.  At our meeting we agreed on a new task, to go beyond growth, by making higher education not just bigger but also better.

We discussed how to meet this challenge. Every country is different, and there were many points of view.  But we agreed that a major programme of reform is needed, giving more emphasis to outcomes in particular.  Reforms are needed in six areas:

Funding. Some countries, particularly in Europe, need to invest more in higher education; for others the main issue is to make better use of existing funding. Reform will help to develop new sources of funding.   A number of countries remain committed to higher education without fees for students, while others now accept the OECD Secretariat view that contributions from graduates to the costs of study can be an effective way of increasing resources, balanced by measures to support students from poorer backgrounds.

More equitable education .   Access to higher education needs to be widened to benefit all social groups.    This is a real challenge for school systems, as well as higher education.   Action is therefore needed throughout education systems to tackle the problem.

A clearer focus on what students learn .  We need to develop better evidence of learning outcomes. At our meeting the OECD Secretary-General offered the assistance of the OECD in developing new measures of learning outcomes in higher education, drawing upon its experience with the PISA survey.

Promote responsiveness and diversity.  Reforms to improve incentives – to make institutions more accountable for quality and outcomes — are needed in many countries. We want to balance accountability for outcomes with a loosening of regulatory controls, and we intend to encourage institutions to pursue diverse missions, responding to the needs of students as well as a wide range of other groups.

Research and innovation. We all recognize the capacity of research and innovation to drive growth in knowledge-based societies. We recognize the twin challenges facing higher education systems – supporting world-class research, and delivering its economic and social benefits both locally and nationally.

Migration and internationalisation. We discussed how students, teachers and researchers are increasingly studying and working outside their countries of origin. Most OECD countries are affected, some greatly.  Responses include, for example, the Bologna process in Europe. Countries need to look at immigration policies, as well as higher education policy itself, to develop coherent responses.

We all agreed that higher education cannot escape major change.  Sometimes change will be difficult. Our meeting here, and these conclusions, represent a clear signal of our determination to lead the necessary changes rather than be driven by them”.

Marietta Giannakou, minister van nationaal onderwijs en godsdienstzaken, Griekenland

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