Center for Studies in Higher Education

The Center for Studies in Higher Education (CSHE) is a multi-disciplinary research and policy center on higher education oriented to California, the nation, and comparative international issues. CSHE promotes discussion among university leaders, government officials, and academics; assists policy-making by providing a neutral forum for airing contentious issues; and keeps the higher education world informed of new initiatives and proposals. The Center's research aims to inform current debate about higher education policy and practice.

Research at CSHE

The Center has developed Research Program Areas involving affiliated faculty, visiting scholars and our own researchers:

  • The Role of the Research University in Society
  • Higher Education Governance and Finance
  • The Student Experience in the Research University
  • Policy Issues in California Higher Education
  • The History and Future of the University of California 

The Center's mission is to produce and support multi-disciplinary scholarly perspectives on strategic issues in higher education, to conduct relevant policy research, to promote the development of a community of scholars and policymakers engaged in policy-oriented discussion, and to serve the public as a resource on higher education. CSHE brings to this discussion several distinct perspectives:

  • A national and international and comparative focus
  • A focus on higher education policy issues unique to California and its different tiers of education
  • A focus on the specific strategic issues important to the University of California

Executive Leadership Academy

The Executive Leadership Academy (ELA) prepares visionary higher education leaders to guide their institutions in a multicultural environment. ELA is designed for individuals from all backgrounds interested in advancement to high-level management positions such as dean, vice president, provost, president, and chancellor. It offers an intensive training experience inspired by the need to adapt to an increasingly multicultural and international environment and is guided by a faculty of successful executives and scholars. ELA’s highly interactive curriculum will be most useful to administrators and faculty ready to take the next step in preparing themselves for leadership in today’s rapidly changing academic environment. 

Other Center Programs

CSHE has a number of activities related both to supporting Center-affiliated scholars and to providing a forum for the investigation of policy issues on higher education. These include:

  • Student Experience in the Research University (SERU) Project
  • Symposia and Conferences
  • Visiting Scholars Program
  • Clark Kerr Lectures On the Role of Higher Education in Society
  • Research and Occasional Papers Series on Higher Education
  • Affiliated Publications including a scholarly journal on the history of the University of California
  • Web-Based Archive and Clearinghouse Resources
  • Public Service and Consultancy
  • University Governance
  • Pension Reform in Higher Education
George Blumenthal
(510) 664-7834
Staff contact
Helena Brykarz
Mailing address

771 Evans Hall, Berkeley, CA 94720 - 4650

In News

Significant Socio-Economic and Racial Stratification Caused by Public University Policies, Study Shows

In a new CSHE research paper College Major Restrictions and Student Stratification(link is external), CSHE Research Associate Zachary Bleemer and Aashish Mehta show that underrepresented minority (URM) college students have been steadily earning degrees in relatively less-lucrative fields of study since the mid-1990s. Their paper reveals that this widening gap is principally explained by rising stratification at public research universities, many of which increasingly enforce GPA restriction policies that prohibit students with poor introductory grades from declaring popular majors.

End of affirmative action at UC hurt Black, Latinx students, study finds

The end of affirmative action at California universities 22 years ago had a significant negative impact on Black and Latinx students, forcing many out of the University of California system and reducing their later earnings, according to a new study from the Center for the Study of Higher Education (CSHE) at UC Berkeley.

Student depression, anxiety soaring during pandemic, new survey finds

The COVID-19 pandemic appears to be driving dramatic increases in depression and anxiety among college students, with more than a third reporting significant mental health challenges, according to a new survey co-led by the University of California, Berkeley, Center for the Study of Higher Education (CSHE).