IIEP Policy Forum 2009
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Tertiary education in small states.
Planning in the context of globalization.
2 and 3 July 2009
The IIEP Policy Forum was held on 2 and 3 July 2009 at IIEP premises with the idea to assess current challenges and discuss options for the development of tertiary education capacity in small states. As an event organized prior to the World Conference on Higher Education, the Forum provided an opportunity to reaffirm that small states share common specificities and challenges, which require specific attention, including from international organizations. The Communiqué prepared after the UNESCO 2009 World Conference on Higher Education acknowledges the need “to empower small states to benefit from the opportunities offered by globalization and foster collaboration between them”.
The Policy Forum was attended by some fifty representatives from small UNESCO member states, policy makers, institutional leaders, planners and researchers as well as representatives of international organizations (see list of participants). Participants included H.E. Dame Pearlette LOUISY, the Governor General of Saint Lucia, as well as H.E. Vera Valentine DUARTE-LOBO DE PINA, Minister of Higher Education and Learning of Capo Verde, H.E. Rawya Saud AL BUSAIDI, Minister of Higher Education from Oman.
One of the first sessions of the Forum assessed on impact on the new global environment on tertiary education in two small island development states (SIDS), Saint Lucia and the Maldives. Dame Pearlette Louisy, Governor General of Saint Lucia expressed her opinion that it was essential for small states to respond to major global challenges, and where appropriate challenging the influence of powerful international agendas. “This requires the extension of tertiary education and in particular the development of local research capacity” she said.
The Forum benefitted from substantive inputs and financial support extended by the Commonwealth Secretariat, the Commonwealth of Learning (COL), the Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie (AUF) and the UNESCO Division for Higher Education.