7. In the past ten years, tremendous efforts have been made to improve access and ensure equity. This effort must continue. Access alone is, however, not enough. Much more needs to be done. Efforts must be made to ensure the success of learners.
8. Expanding access has become a priority in the majority of Member States and increasing participation rates in higher education are a major global trend. Nevertheless, great disparities persist, constituting a major source of inequality. Governments and institutions must encourage women’s access, participation and success at all levels of education.
9. In expanding access, higher education must pursue the goals of equity, relevance and quality simultaneously. Equity is not simply a matter of access – the objective must be successful participation and completion while at the same time assuring student welfare. This must include appropriate financial and educational support to those from poor and marginalized communities.
10. The knowledge society needs diversity in higher education systems, with a range of institutions having a variety of mandates and addressing different types of learners. In addition to public institutions, private higher education pursuing public objectives has an important role to play.
11. Our ability to realize the goals of EFA is dependent upon our ability to address the worldwide shortage of teachers. Higher education must scale up teacher education, both pre-service and in-service, with curricula that equip teachers to provide individuals with the knowledge and skills they need in the twenty-first century. This will require new approaches, including open and distance learning (ODL) and information and communications technologies (ICTs).
12. Preparing education planners and conducting research to improve pedagogical approaches also contributes to EFA goals.
13. ODL approaches and ICTs present opportunities to widen access to quality education, particularly when Open Educational Resources are readily shared by many countries and higher education institutions.
14. The application of ICTs to teaching and learning has great potential to increase access, quality and success. In order to ensure that the introduction of ICTs adds value, institutions and governments should work together to pool experience, develop policies and strengthen infrastructure, especially bandwidth.
15. Higher education institutions must invest in the training of faculty and staff to fulfil new functions in evolving teaching and learning systems.
16. Greater emphasis on the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics as well as Social and Human Sciences is vital for all our societies.
17. The results of scientific research should be made more available through ICTs in addition to open access to scientific literature.
18. The training offered by institutions of higher education should both respond to and anticipate societal needs. This includes promoting research for the development and use of new technologies and ensuring the provision of technical and vocational training, entrepreneurship education and programmes for lifelong learning.
19. Expanding access poses challenges to the quality of higher education. Quality assurance is a vital function in contemporary higher education and must involve all stakeholders. Quality requires both establishing quality assurance systems and patterns of evaluation as well as promoting a quality culture within institutions.
20. Regulatory and quality assurance mechanisms that promote access and create conditions for the completion of studies should be put in place for the entire higher education sector.
21. Quality criteria must reflect the overall objectives of higher education, notably the aim of cultivating in students critical and independent thought and the capacity of learning throughout life. They should encourage innovation and diversity. Assuring quality in higher education requires recognition of the importance of attracting and retaining qualified, talented and committed teaching and research staff.
22. Policies and investments must support a broad diversity of tertiary/post-secondary education and research – including but not limited to universities – and must respond to the rapidly changing needs of new and diverse learners.
23. The knowledge society requires a growing differentiation of roles within higher education systems and institutions, with poles and networks of research excellence, innovations in teaching/learning and new approaches to community service.