We work to expand spaces for liberal university education that will nurture and sustain vibrant and inclusive societies.
The International Higher Education Support Program nurtures capacity and leadership at universities to enable well-informed, vigorous social deliberation.

International Higher Education Support Program

Higher education institutions and actors are fundamentally influential in the establishment and consolidation of open societies. The Higher Education Support Program is committed to strengthening universities and members of their communities by nurturing their capacity and leadership for well-informed, vigorous, and inclusive social deliberation.

Our strategy involves countries where higher education can play a decisive role in supporting the opening of societies. The program focuses on the following two initiatives:

  • empowering independent voices and promoting substantive debate on higher education reform in countries in transition; and
  • bridging gaps in university curricula and knowledge production on issues of social justice, democratic practice and human rights.

​Through 2018, we will identify and focus on a limited number of countries in transition such as Burma, Palestine, Tunisia, or Senegal, for example, where reforms and improvement of higher education can lead to a more pluralistic and inclusive form of democratic education that contributes to social change.

We also work on the issue of food security in the context of climate change in Africa by supporting the establishment of innovative knowledge networks and repositories where education resources are openly available, and contributing to a South-South policy dialogue.

Although HESP is discontinuing a significant part of its programming in Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, it is not abandoning a region where open society continues to face major challenges. While HESP will downsize its programs focused primarily on individual support, Open Society and its founder remain committed to HESP’s long-term institutional partners and continue its close cooperation with the Central European University and Bard College.