David Jobbins and Philip Fine at the Commonwealth education ministers' meeting, Halifax.
Commonwealth education ministers have put higher education at the centre of a ground-breaking statement that sets out the guiding principles for Commonwealth education policies.
The statement is underpinned by a nine-point action plan. This draws on the organisation's "traditions of sharing resources and expertise" to create a platform for collaboration and action that will enhance efforts to promote sustainable quality education for all at every level.
"Inherent in this belief is the value of academic interchange as well as student and knowledge mobility," the statement says.
Critical parts of the plan relevant to higher education are: a new mechanism to establish accreditation processes that will increase student mobility; a study by the secretariat of the impact of trans-national education on national systems; establishment of a virtual university for small states; and expansion of the Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan with an emphasis on development and poverty reduction.