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Call for contributions to the UNESCO World Conference on Higher Education 2022 to be held in Barcelona

17 February 2022

Universities. Proposals can be submitted until 5 March for this international meeting, which for the first time will leave UNESCO's headquarters in Paris.

This spring, Barcelona will attract the world's attention in terms of higher education. For four days, the city will host the UNESCO World Conference on Higher Education 2022 (WCHE2022), which is held every ten years. In 2022, it will take place for the first time outside the institution's headquarters in Paris. Barcelona Science and Universities is collaborating in the organisation of this event, together with other institutions and organisations. The deadline for contributions from organisations from all over the world, UN and non-UN, is currently open, and the Youth Platform, a website to involve young people in the conference debate, has been published.

“Reinventing higher education for a sustainable future” is the slogan of this third edition, which will be held from 18 to 20 May. WCHE2022 aims to rethink the ideas and practices of higher education in order to ensure sustainable development for the planet and humanity. Specifically, the meeting will focus on discussing a dozen main themes that have a direct bearing on the present and future of higher education: the impact of COVID-19, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), inclusion, quality and relevance of programmes, academic mobility, governance, funding, data and knowledge production, international cooperation and future horizons.

In this framework, UNESCO invites organisations and partnerships from around the world to contribute to the conference and to share knowledge, research, practices and ideas to improve higher education institutions and systems both locally and internationally. The invitation is open to various entities willing to establish a partnership with UNESCO under the purpose and main themes of the international meeting. Thus, the call for contributions is addressed to National Commissions, UNESCO Chairs, UNITWIN networks, youth, university faculty and other organisations. The submission period is open until 5 March and guidelines and forms for contributions, can be found on the WCHE2022 website. Besides, UNESCO has launched a survey of university faculty on burnout risk and well-being, the results of which will be presented at the conference


Youth Platform

WCHE2022 recognises youth as key actors in redefining higher education and its future demands. For this reason, UNESCO invites youth participation through programming designed to empower young people, whatever their background, to generate mutual inspiration between youth and the education community, and to engage in the construction of a renewed concept of higher education.

To advance this strategy, UNESCO has created the WCHE2022 Youth Platform, through which young people from all over the world will be able to participate in a series of dynamic activities before and after the congress, such as online masterclasses, seminars, open debates and forums, surveys, consultations and calls for entrepreneurs, artists and researchers, among others. In parallel, it will make available a collection of digital content such as higher education talks (the HED Talks), podcasts, video messages from youth leaders, blog posts, etc. UNESCO invites young people from all over the world to register and become part of this community with common interests in higher education.



WCHE2022 is organised by UNESCO in collaboration with the Barcelona City Council, the Barcelona Provincial Council, the Generalitat de Catalunya and the Spanish Government through the Ministry of Universities, and in partnership with the Global University Network for Innovation (GUNi) and the Catalan Association of Public Universities (ACUP).

The meeting is open to all agents involved in technical, university and vocational education, such as administrations, intergovernmental organisations, international networks, universities, NGOs, companies, etc., and is expected to bring together 2,000 participants from all over the world in person and more than 10,000 virtual participants via streaming. Information on how to participate and how to register will be posted on the conference website soon.