World’s biggest conference on equitable HE access, success

The 2021 World Access to Higher Education Day or WAHED online conference is being held on Wednesday 17 November.

‘WAHED 2021: Who will be going to university in 2030?’ will bring together more than 20 speakers from six continents for this free online event.

The organisers say: “This is the biggest annual global conference focusing solely on equitable access and success in higher education.”

“As we learn to live with COVID-19 across the world it is crucial that we do not learn to live with increasing inequalities in who enters and succeeds in higher education,” said Graeme Atherton, director of the National Education Opportunities Network (NEON) in the United Kingdom and convenor of WAHED.

“World Access to Higher Education Day (WAHED) is the only global effort to bring universities, policy-makers, students and NGOs together to address inequalities in higher education participation and success.

“It is vital that those across the world who are committed to equity in higher education support WAHED and participate in this year’s online conference.”

University World News is donating its support to the event as the media partner.

University World News Editor in Chief Brendan O’Malley said: “We believe strongly in supporting efforts to achieve equity in higher education access and completion. That is why we are helping to promote World Access to Higher Education Day.”

You can register for the event here.

The conference will include five different sessions covering:

Evidence and data: What do we know about how and where participation rates are changing?

Role of government: How can it support equity priority groups post-pandemic?

Role of universities: Where is innovative practice and who are the ‘global equity leaders’?

Flexible pathways into higher education: What do they look like and where do they exist?

The way forward for equitable access in higher education: What steps should we take to make higher education participation more equitable by 2030?

These sessions will run over nine hours enabling those from across time zones to participate. WAHED 2021 will commence from 08:20 (GMT) and will conclude at 17:45 (GMT).

‘WAHED 2021: Who will be going to university in 2030?’ will focus on how we can ensure that equitable access and success is a priority for universities and governments as we learn to live with the ongoing impact of the pandemic and where there may be examples of innovative work emerging.

The confirmed speakers so far include:

Hilligje Van’t Land, secretary general, International Association of Universities, and executive director, International Universities Bureau.

Roberta Malee Bassett, global lead for tertiary education and senior education specialist, World Bank, United States.

Joanna Newman, chief executive and secretary-general, Association of Commonwealth Universities.

Leonie Nagarajan, director, Education Department, Asia-Europe Foundation.

Francesc Pedró, director, IESALC, UNESCO.

Courtney Brown, vice president of strategic impact, Lumina Foundation, US.

Michaela Martin, coordinator of the IIEP-UNESCO flexible learning pathways country case studies.

William Moses, managing director, Education Program, the Kresge Foundation.

David Crosier, education system analyst, Eurydice.

Jamil Salmi, global tertiary education consultant.

Ninoslav Scukanec Schmidt, executive director, Institute for the Development of Education, and co-chair of the Bologna Follow Up Group on the Social Dimension.

Vesa Taatila, rector and president, Turku University of Applied Sciences, Finland.

María José Lemaitre, executive director, Centro Interuniversitario de Desarrollo, Chile.

Ankit Tripathi, Global Student Forum.

Carmon Romero, Global Student Forum.

Professor Graeme Atherton, director, National Education Opportunities Network, United Kingdom.

Join us on 17 November for this free, global event. You can register here.