Return to the Boston College Home Page
Lesser Lights OR Major Literary Influences?
Philip Altbach*
RealPlayer required for viewing.

"I am convinced that higher education is a central force for development and for civic and intellectual life worldwide. Beginning with my PhD research in India in the 1960s, I’ve devoted almost 40 years to the study of the intricacies of the university in the United States and globally. Over the years, I have been concerned with the role of students in the political and social fabric of society, the role of the academic profession, and with issues of knowledge generation and communication worldwide. Opportunities for research and teaching provided by several Fulbright grants, the German Academic Exchange Service, the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, and awards from universities in Hong Kong and China have permitted me to broaden my perspectives.

The Center for International Higher Education, which I established in 1994, is a unique institution in the United States. It is the only such center to focus on the problems of developing countries and the only one located in a Catholic university. Our visiting scholars have come from 15 different countries and have significantly enlivened the intellectual life of Lynch School of Education, one of just a handful of schools focusing on international higher education in the United States. Our work has been generously aided over the past decade by the Ford Foundation, the Lynch School of Education, the Toyota Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, MacArthur Foundation, Carnegie Corporation of New York, and an anonymous Catholic foundation.

Ultimately, I believe that the study of higher education is not only important, it is exciting as well. In the new era of globalization, universities have become even more significant as the central engines of knowledge generation and communication. They are among the world’s most important institutions, and studying them is rewarding its own right."

Philip G. Altbach
Donald Monan SJ Professor of Higher Education at Boston College
Founder and Director of the Center for International Higher Education


The Boston College Center for International Higher Education

The BC Center for International Higher Education (CIHE) provides a unique service to colleges and universities worldwide through its networking activities, research, and training in the field of higher education administration. It has several basic purposes, including providing a focus for international higher education at Boston College, providing links among the more than 200 Jesuit universities and colleges worldwide, and building research capacity in the field of international higher education. The Center is an integral part of the higher education administration program at the Lynch School of Education. Supported by several generous grants from the Ford Foundation and other funders, the Center engages in a variety of activities:

  • Publication of a quarterly newsletter, International Higher Education, distributed worldwide in print and electronic formats
  • Publication of books on international higher education issues that reflect the research activities of the Center, and providing free copies of these materials to colleagues in developing countries
  • Hosting visiting scholars from other countries
  • Organizing international conferences on higher education topics
  • Providing bibliographic and other documentary services to colleagues worldwide, especially in developing countries
  • Sponsoring an award-winning website, notably featured as a resource guide of the World Bank's higher education sector.
  • Sponsoring a book series featuring original scholarship on international higher education issues, published by SensePublishers in the Netherlands.
  • Providing financial support and research opportunities for a number of Boston College doctoral students each year.

Currently, the Center supports three main ongoing projects:

  1. The International Higher Education Clearinghouse
  2. The Higher Education Corruption Monitor
  3. The Africa Initiative

... ... ...


Updated: July 8, 2006
Maintained: University Libraries
© 2006 The Trustees of Boston College.