Advancing the public purposes of higher education is both more important – and more difficult – than ever before. AHEAD contributes to this outcome by helping policymakers, college and university administrators, and researchers understand the need to advance the public purposes of higher education and the best ways to achieve this goal. AHEAD leads the conversation by convening key stakeholders to engage in critical but difficult conversations about these issues, with the goal of identifying and disseminating information about innovative and productive solutions.

What's AHEAD: Key Trends in Higher Education

Visit the What's AHEAD page.

In the News

Visit the Press Coverage page.

Convenings & Roundtables

Will Reauthorization Save The Higher Education Act?
Wednesday, November 12
Washington, D.C. 
A High-Level Panel Sponsored by Penn Law & New America
Featuring Dr. Laura Perna, Penn AHEAD 
Live video recording of event

The Shifting Public Purposes of Higher Education

April 29 - May 1, 2015
Two-day, high-level dialogue on the shifting public purposes of higher education and the implications for leadership.
Learn more and register

Lectures & Seminars

Experiences in Kazakhstan: Through the eyes of Dr. Hartley"
Dr. Matthew Hartley
Tuesday, October 21st
10:00am – 11:50am 
GSE Building, Room 203

"China's Rising Research Universities: A New Era of Global Ambition" 
Professor Robert A. Rhoads 
University of California Los Angeles
Tuesday September 23, 2014
11 am - 12:30 pm
HED Conference room, 3819 Chestnut Street

Live video recording of event

The Attainment Agenda: State Policy Leadership in Higher Education
Professor Laura Perna (GSE), Professor Joni Finney (GSE), Professor Wendell Pritchett (Law), Professor Laura Wolf-Powers (Design)
University of Pennsylvania
Wharton Public Policy Initiative
Wednesday, September 27, 2014 
4:30pm – 6:00pm
Jon M. Hunstman Hall, Room 340
Live video recording of event

Penn AHEAD Director Testifies Before Congress

Dr. Laura Perna testified in front of the US Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions on July 24, 2014 on states' role in higher education. Click here to view the video of her testimony.