Wednesday 2 May 2018, 16.45 - 18.00

Inequality is one of the biggest challenges facing the world today. As numbers of HE students grow, with an estimated 250 million by 2030, there is an expectation that HE will play a major role in reducing inequality. However, current evidence suggests otherwise - in over 90% of countries participation in HE is unequal by social background. So, is HE exacerbating inequality rather than reducing it? And what part is international education playing? Often seen as the preserve of more advantaged groups, is this a fair perception? How can the equity become a core concern for international education?

The session has a particular focus on the ASEAN context with new research investigating policy and practice in the area of equitable access to HE across 10 ASEAN nations. It will argue for the creation of new global tertiary networks focused on equitable access and outline how such a network could be created.

Questions explored include:

  • How are ASEAN countries tackling equitable access to HE through national policies and practices?
  • How are global and national level initiatives expanding access to HE?
  • What strategies are being used successfully to align international education and equitable access?
  • How can participants participate in the creation of a global tertiary network focused on equitable access to HE?


  • Dr Graeme Atherton, Director – NEON UK, London Higher, UK (Chair)
  • Professor Glenda Crosling, Head of Centre for Higher Education Research, Sunway University, Malaysia 
  • Johannes Heinlein, Vice-President – Strategic Partnerships, edX, USA
  • Professor Mohammed Salifu, Executive Secretary, National Council for Tertiary Education (NCTE), Ghana 
  • Catherine Sinclair-Jones, Research And Policy Analyst, British Council, Pakistan