The 2nd World Congress on Access to Postsecondary Education
November 1-3, 2017 in São Paulo, Brazil


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. The global access and success community is invited to submit proposals.

More information about the 2nd World Congress is available HERE.

Program Thematic Areas

The overall conference theme is ‘Working Together for a Democratized Postsecondary Education: A Key to Sustainable Development’. Proposals for the congress can address the following issues:

  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?

Deadline for Submission Friday, June 30, 2017

Proposals can be submitted in the following formats:

  • 7-14-28 paper presentations (7 minutes presentation – 14 slides – 28 font size)
    All papers must follow APA style guidelines (6th edition)
  • Posters
    Required paper format min 594 x 841 mm – max 841 – 1189 mm
  • Workshops/Open Space activities
    Designed either for 45 or 90 minutes

Terms and Conditions:

  • All presenters must register for the Conference
  • All content must relate to the conference themes
  • Presenters may be required to make changes if submissions do not follow these terms and conditions
  • Any printing of material has to be done before the congress by the presenter
  • It is the responsibility of the presenter to ensure they have the rights of use for all content and any logos/images

Timeline – Key Dates:

  • April 5, 2017 opening of the call
  • June 30, 2017 closing of the call
  • September 1, 2017 final confirmation of presenters
  • October 16, 2017 deadline for final submission of papers and presentations
  • November 1-3, 2017 presentations take place

Submission Procedure:

Send your submission to

All abstracts must be submitted using the designated template. 
To access the template click HERE.

Title: Less than 20 words

Author(s): Please provide author’s/authors’ title, first name and last name. The presenting author’s name should be highlighted.

Affiliations: An affiliation (institution/organization and country) should be included for each author.

Abstract text: Must not exceed 300 words (excluding title, authors and affiliations)

Font: All abstracts should be submitted in an accessible, sans serif font e.g. Calibri, size 12 minimum.

Language: English, Spanish or Portuguese

Thematic area: Please indicate which of the five thematic areas outlined above you will be presenting under.


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