About the Conference

While higher education and research are widely recognized as crucial for social and economic development, those responsible for planning and delivering these vital services will face formidable challenges in coming years. These include scarcity of public funding, demographic changes, heightened competition for students and research funds, growing expectation of cost containment of higher education, and challenges to the traditional modes of education delivery.  

To address these challenges, the joint OECD-Singapore Conference on Higher Education Futures will explore forward-looking themes in the global higher education landscape. Plenary sessions and parallel discussions will focus on mapping and meeting future demand for higher education, the rise of higher education in Asia, challenges to traditional modes of education, and how higher education can stay relevant in the face of resource challenges. The Conference will bring together some 500 participants from over 40 countries, representing senior government officials, higher education administrators, academics and practitioners, for an engaging exchange of ideas and best practices.

Ministry of Education (MOE), Singapore

The Ministry of Education (MOE) directs the formulation and implementation of education policies in Singapore. At the pre-tertiary level, it oversees the development and administration of the Government and Government-aided primary schools, secondary schools, junior colleges, and a centralised institute.

The MOE also oversees the development of the higher education sector through policy oversight and resourcing of the post-secondary education institutions (PSEIs). These include the Institute of Technical Education, five polytechnics, the five autonomous universities – the National University of Singapore (NUS), Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore Management University (SMU), Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) and the Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT) – and other publicly-funded private institutions such as SIM University, the LASALLE College of the Arts, and the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts. By developing a high-quality post-secondary education sector, the MOE aims to provide opportunities for all Singaporeans to realise their potential, while meeting Singapore’s social and economic objectives.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)

The mission of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is to promote policies that will improve the economic and social well-being of people around the world.

The OECD provides a forum in which governments can work together to share experiences and seek solutions to common problems. We work with governments to understand what drives economic, social and environmental change. We analyse and compare data to predict future trends, and set international standards on a wide range of things, from agriculture and tax to the safety of chemicals.

We look, too, at issues that directly affect the lives of ordinary people, like how much they pay in taxes and social security, and how much leisure time they can take. We compare different countries’ policies and their results to try to find what works best.

The common thread of our work is a shared commitment to market economies backed by democratic institutions and focused on the wellbeing of all citizens. Along the way, we also set out to make life harder for the terrorists, tax dodgers, crooked businessmen and others whose actions undermine a fair and open society.

Conference Convenor


The Conference Convenor is Professor Peter Coaldrake AO, Vice-Chancellor and President of Queensland University of Technology (QUT). Professor Coaldrake is also Chair of the governing board of the OECD higher education group (IMHE) and a member of the Board of Universities Australia. For queries regarding the conference programme, please email p.coaldrake@qut.edu.au