2nd World Congress – Program Thematic Areas

The 2nd World Congress on Access to Postsecondary Education will take place November 1-3, 2017 at the University of São Paulo in São Paulo, Brazil.

  1. The research, policy and praxis nexus to advance access and success
    Research, policy and practice are drivers for the improvement of the access and success agenda. This theme will explore how a combined and aligned approach can increase the impact. Which policy instruments can support research and practice? Which data do policy makers and practitioners need? Which input do the researchers need? Are (national) access plans with a combined approach a solution? What are best practice examples for the nexus in access from all over the world? These and other questions will be addressed under this congress theme.
  2. Still standing in the way: race, ethnicity and caste
    The diversity of society should be reflected in the student population, in education systems and their institutions, their governance structures and decision making bodies. Nonetheless by today race, ethnicity and caste systems are still barriers which restrain a true diversity. This theme will explore who these underrepresented groups in different parts of the world are and how postsecondary education stakeholders can embrace these groups and ensure their equal participation. That includes the question how students with different backgrounds can enrich the teaching and learning environment and help to reform curricula, for example through the use of inclusive pedagogical and student-centered approaches. This includes also the question how quotas are used and could be used to improve access and success for a diversified student population. In addition this theme puts a focus on access and success for undocumented or refuges students.
  3. Creating access: who must join the access conversation?
    Higher education institutions, policy-maker and students are the most obvious contributors to the access community. However other communities, industry and social movement might be important stakeholders too. Which important actors are missing? Under this theme we also aim to identify change makers and advocates for access and success. This theme should provide space to investigate e.g. what impact power relations have on access. And what the needs for access are: What is the role of knowledge in society? What are governmental or business needs for a diversified postsecondary education?
  4. Access and success in action – applying access and inclusion strategies in specific contexts
    Postsecondary education options are diverse. Not only universities are providers, but also technical and vocational postsecondary education and other offers are available. Under this theme we intend to explore the diversity of postsecondary education offers and also activities at all stages (pre-, peri- and post- accessing) and contexts, which are aiming to impact the access and success agenda. Which forms of access and action are out there? How can we ensure that postsecondary education is an equalizer and not a divider? Which evidence based concepts are already applied? How can different concepts be transferred into new contexts.
  5. Access and success across Latin America and the Caribbean
    Across Latin America and the Caribbean, access to postsecondary education has received increasing attention through, government funding, policy mandates and neostructural development policies. Between 2003 and 2015, Brazil has developed policies geared to challenging inequalities of educational opportunities primarily focused on equity and solidarity. Largely supported by neighbouring states such as Venezuela, Argentina, and Uruguay to name a few, student mobility and cross-border access has significantly increased in the past decade. Similarly, in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) access to higher education and capacity building through leadership development has been identified by UNESCO as a priority. However, inequities related to high stratification within class and racial group structures have pervaded the walls of postsecondary institutions, making persistence and success for underrepresented groups hard to attain. Accordingly, the theme for this section focuses on how might countries in Latin America and throughout the Caribbean move from distributional access to sustainable structural persistence of traditionally underrepresented groups in these countries?

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