Global Higher Education and Research

The WUN Global Challenge in Higher Education and Research (GHEAR) addresses the sources, mechanisms, and social structures that give rise to today's higher education challenges, and works collaboratively across the network to propose reform policies for international research and education.

Focus of the WUN GHEAR Global Challenge in 2016-17 

  • Access - How do educational policies and practices promote equity of opportunity to succeed in university and beyond?
  • Mobility - How does higher education respond to and facilitate greater mobility of people, learning, and knowledge?
  • Investment - How can financial resources be more effective and efficient in promoting access, mobility, quality and relevance in higher education?

Steering Group

The GHEAR Global Challenge Steering Group is made up of experts in the field from across the network. The Steering Group is responsible for guiding the development, focus and research portfolio of the global challenge. 

Global Challenge Chair: Professor Joe BergerAssociate Dean for Research and Engagement, College of Education, The University of Massachusetts Amherst -

For more information, contact: Shane Hammond -


Universities 2030: Learning from the Past to Anticipate the Future

In 2013, WUN commissioned reports that would help shape university leaders' thinking on the future of higher education. 

Professor Adam Nelson from the University of Wisconsin-Madison convened a group of leading historians from around the world to consider how universities in the past had responded to major periods of change. The report, produced with significant assistance from Nick Strohl, identifies key moments in the internationalization of higher education: moments when universities responded to new historical circumstances by reorienting their relationship with the broader world.

Download: Universities 2030: Learning from the Past to Anticipate the Future

Professor Keri Facer from the University of Bristol in collaboration with Adam Nelson (Wisconsin-Madison), John Morgan (Auckland), Hongjin Zhao (Zhejiang), Bryony Enright (Bristol), Richard Sandford (Bristol) produced a report which considers the potential role of the university for the future. Drawing on Michael Young’s (2013) argument that a core function of the university was to support society’s conversations about the future, the report explores what role universities might play in helping societies to understand, navigate, shape and make choices about possible futures. 

WUN student perspectives on higher education in 2030

Students from around WUN talk about their vision of universities in 2030.