ACU initiative: raising the profile of higher education at upcoming conference

ACU initiative: raising the profile of higher education at upcoming conference

Published on 16 January 2015

Commonwealth education ministers meet every three years, to discuss key education issues, identify areas for action, and share knowledge and good practice. The next Conference of Commonwealth Education Ministers (19CCEM) will be held from 22-26 June 2015, hosted by the Government of the Bahamas.

Higher education – and universities in particular – tends to have too low a profile at these events. The ACU is therefore pleased to report that, as a result of discussions with the Commonwealth Secretariat, we will be facilitating a special debate on the role of universities, as part of the ministerial conference. There will also be opportunities for ACU member involvement within other formal sessions at the conference.

We see 19CCEM as an important platform to raise the profile of the work and impact of higher education, and we will showcase key examples and issues emerging from The world beyond 2015 – Is higher education ready? campaign.

We also plan to propose two new initiatives for endorsement by education ministers. Supporting early career researchers is a key challenge for universities across the Commonwealth, and we will be seeking ministers’ endorsement for a Commonwealth-wide grants programme to enable academics in the early stages of their careers to benefit from international travel and exposure.

Our second proposal is to launch a new initiative on graduate employment, which demonstrates the important work that our member universities are already doing in this area and shares good practice amongst those developing new initiatives. We are still developing this proposal, and would like to invite our members' involvement.

Does your university have any schemes in the field of curriculum relevance or employability that could be replicable in other Commonwealth countries? We would like to know what kind of support your university requires in order to produce highly-skilled graduates ready to enter the workforce. Do you have examples of good practice that you would like to share with ministers? If so, this could be a great opportunity to bring them to the attention of international ministers who play a major role in the development of our sector. 

We are keen to hear your thoughts. Please email Linda Harrison at linda.harrison@acu.ac.uk with your contributions – we are looking for brief summaries (maximum 500 words) by 20 February 2015.

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This news item was updated on 10 February 2015 to reflect a change in the deadline for contributions.