Higher Education Global Evidence Summit Summary
What We Learned
USAID is committed to advancing the evidence base to inform the future of our higher education programming. To honor this commitment, we hosted the inaugural Higher Education Global Evidence Summit virtually over three weeks between May 3-18, 2022.
The Summit sought to expand evidence on how the core functions of higher education systems can be strengthened to promote social and economic development in USAID partner countries by focusing on three interrelated themes in support of the USAID Higher Education Learning Agenda – Innovation, Employability, and Private Sector Engagement.
The Summit provided an opportunity for more than 160 academics, researchers, donors, and practitioners to showcase emerging research, new data, trends, and promising practices in 60+ plenary, research to practice, poster, and lightning talk sessions.
The first week of the summit was dedicated to innovation. The second week was dedicated to employability. The first day of the third week was dedicated to private sector engagement and the second day covered cross-cutting themes of higher education in conflict and crisis-affected settings and the relationship between higher education and democracy. Visit the thematic sub-pages to learn more about the sessions, watch the recordings, and download resources shared by Summit speakers that we are adding to the Higher Education Learning Agenda evidence gap map.
- Evidence on Higher Education and Innovation
- Evidence on Higher Education and Employability
- Evidence on Higher Education & Private Sector Engagement
- Evidence on Higher Education and Conflict, Crisis and Democracy
USAID Administrator Samantha Power spoke during the Summit and noted that, “Internationally, we can do more to have research partnerships with a broader array of universities… seeking to draw on the expertise of scholars and practitioners who are housed outside our traditional places of partnership.”
In its new era of higher education programming, higher education systems are core to achieving development objectives across sectors and local higher education institutions are key partners in advancing development – and the Higher Education Global Evidence Summit was an apt demonstration of these principles in action.
More than 1,600 participants from nearly 50 countries registered for the summit – with 70 percent of registered participants hailing from the Global South. The immense number of peer-to-peer exchanges (discussion groups, meetups, and direct messages on the Whova platform) exceeded all expectations.
In the Summit’s closing plenary, Samantha Alvis, USAID Senior Advisor for Higher Education, and Jennifer LeBron, Higher Education Learning Network Leader, officially launched the Higher Education Learning Network (HELN).
HELN is a community built by and for its members – dedicated to connecting higher education stakeholders to the ideas, evidence, practices, and people that can help them improve their work and make an impact in their communities. HELN creates opportunities for members to learn from each other through the generation, capture, and dissemination of evidence.
Sign up to join the Higher Education Learning Network by registering here.