Faculty Directory

Philip Altbach

Professor Emeritus, Center for International Higher Education


ELHE Educational Leadership & Higher Education


Professor Emeritus Philip G. Altbach was previously a Research Professor and Distinguished Fellow at the Center for International Higher Education at Boston College, where from 1994 to 2015 he was the Monan University Professor. He was the 2004-2006 Distinguished Scholar Leader for the New Century Scholars initiative of the Fulbright program, was given the Houlihan award for distinguished contributions to international education by NAFSA: Association of International Educators, the Bowen distinguished career award by the Association for the Study of Higher Education, and has been a senior associate of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. In 2010, he was an Erudite Scholar of the Government of Kerala in India. He has taught at Harvard University, the University of Wisconsin, and the State University of New York at Buffalo.

He is author of Global Perspectives on Higher Education, Turmoil and Transition, Student Politics in America, among other books. He also co-edited (with Jamil Salmi) The Road to Academic Excellence, (with Michael Bastedo and Patricia Gumport) American Higher Education in the 21st Century, the International Handbook of Higher Education, World Class Worldwide: Transforming Research Universities in Asia and Latin America and other books.

Dr. Altbach holds the B.A., M.A. and Ph.D degrees from the University of Chicago.

  • Visiting professor at Peking University (China),  Xiamen University (China) Visiting scholar at SciencesPo, Paris and others
  • Founding director of Boston College's Center for International Higher Education
  • Distinguished Scholar Leader of the Fulbright New Century Scholars Program

Selected Books

Philip G. Altbach, Global Perspectives on Higher Education (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2016). (Russian translation, HSE University Press, Moscow. Chinese translations, Educational Sciences Press, Beijing)

Laura E. Rumbley, Philip G. Altbach, David A. Stanfield, Yukiko Shimmi, Ariane de Gayardon, and Roy Y. Chan. Higher Education: A Worldwide Inventory. (Bonn, Germany: Lemmens Media, 2014).

Philip G. Altbach, The International Imperative in Higher Education. (Rotterdam, Netherlands: Sense Publishers, 2013).

P. Agarwal, ed., A Half-Century of Indian Higher Education: Essays by Philip G. Altbach (New Delhi, Sage, 2012).  (Hindi translated edition, 2015).

Philip G. Altbach, Liz Reisberg, and Laura Rumbley, Trends in Global Higher Education: Tracking an Academic Revolution. (Rotterdam, Netherlands: Sense Publishers, 2009) Also published by UNESCO, Paris in English and French.  Chinese translated edition by the Shanghai Jiao Tong University Press. Arabic translated edition by the Ministry of Higher Education. Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Russian translated edition by RUDN University Press, Moscow).

Philip G. Altbach, Tradition and Transition: The International Imperative in Higher Education. (Rotterdam, Netherlands: Sense Publishers, 2007). Also published in Chinese by the Peking University Press.

Philip G. Altbach (With Leslie A. Bozeman, Natia Janashia, and Laura E. Rumbley) Higher Education: A Worldwide Inventory of Centers and Programs (Revised Edition). Rotterdam, Netherlands: Sense Publishers, 2006).

Philip G. Altbach, International Higher Education: Reflections on Policy and Practice. (Chestnut Hill, MA: Center for International Higher Education, Boston College, 2006).

Philip G. Altbach, Comparative Higher Education (Norwood, N.J.: Ablex, 1998). Also published in Japanese by Tamagawa University Press, Tokyo and in Chinese by the Peoples Education Press, Beijing, and in Spanish the Universidad Palermo, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Philip G. Altbach, Student Politics in America (New Brunswick, N. J.: Transaction, 1997)

Philip G. Altbach, Essays on Higher Education in International Perspective (Tamagawa, Japan:      Tamagawa University Press, 1994).  Japanese edition of selected articles.

Philip G. Altbach et alHigher Education and Scientific Development in Newly Industrializing Nations (New York:  Praeger, 1989) (Asian edition by De La Salle University Press, Manila, Philippines, 1989; Japanese translation by Tamagawa University Press, 1993).

Philip G. Altbach, The Knowledge Context:  Comparative Perspectives on the Distribution of Knowledge (Albany:  State University of New York Press, 1987).

Philip G. Altbach, Higher Education in the Third World:  Themes and Variations, (New York:  Advent Books, 1987; also published by Maruzen Publishers in Singapore)

Philip G. Altbach, University Reform:  An International Perspective (Washington, D.C.:  American Association for Higher Education, 1980).

Philip G. Altbach, Comparative Higher Education: Research Trend and Bibliography (London and New     York:  Mansell Publishing Co., 1979). (Translated into Chinese and published in the People's Republic of          China by Educational Sciences Press, Beijing, 1987).

Honors and Awards

  • Commission Fellow of the American Educational Research Association'
  • Honorary D.Litt degree, Symbiosis University, India 
  • Houlihan Award from the National Association for Foreign Student Affairs 
  • Millenium Award from the Institute for International Education 
  • Career Achievement award from the Association for the Study of Higher Education

Select Grants

Ford Foundation, Carnegie Corporation of New Yortk, Japan Foundation