Click here to download the 2014 APHERP Annual Report (PDF)

At the turn of the twenty-first century the East-West Center (EWC) launched a research endeavor designed to explore the broad range of changes both taking place and likely to take place in higher education over the following two decades. The EWC provided initial funding support with the belief that the topic was of significant interest and importance to the Asia region. During the first five years, activity focused on three writers’ conferences held between Honolulu and Hong Kong. A fourth meeting in Honolulu collected the previous work in a group of essays that would be published in a volume entitled Changing Education (Springer, 2007). At this 2004 session a decision was also made to collect the work of the previous seminars into a curriculum that would be offered to a group of 15-20 mid-level career professionals in the U.S. and Asia in a format that came to be labeled the International Forum for Education 2020 (IFE 2020) Leadership Institutes. The first such institute was held in Honolulu in 2006 for 18 participants representing China, the Philippines, Thailand, India and the United States in its role as a Pacific nation.

From this initial stage a process began in which on roughly an annual basis the East-West Center would develop a research senior seminar within the area of higher education on a topic of critical importance to Asia Pacific higher education to be attended by leading research scholars in the field. Content provided in such seminars became the subject matter for a subsequent volume to be published by a major international publisher, and contribute an additional portion of the curriculum for subsequent leadership institutes (or occasionally a special higher education journal issue). Beginning in 2008, senior seminars were located outside Hawaii within the Asia-Pacific region with some element of co-sponsorship from a participating institution. In 2010 this model was adopted for the leadership institutes as well.

In 2011 taking advantage of the APEC leadership meeting scheduled for November in Honolulu, the University of Hawaii and the EWC combined efforts to host a pre-meeting conference co-sponsored by the APEC Secretariat focused on the particular issue of higher education quality. The conference, formally titled “Quality in Higher Education: Identifying, Developing and Sustaining Best Practices in the APEC Region”, drew participants from 20 APEC countries.

The range of interests developed over the course of the ten years of research and higher education exploration undertaken by the EWC combined with the expression of interests in furthering the nature of this work by the APEC conference participants has served as the basis for the APHERP partnership.

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