Center for Studies in Higher Education

Illuminating and Enriching Higher Education

The mission of the Center for Studies in Higher Education is to influence higher education by:

  • Conducting policy relevant research across California, the nation and the world;
  • Bringing multidisciplinary and multi-cultural perspectives that enlightens policy debates and outcomes;
  • Supporting a global community of scholars and practitioners, and policymakers;
  • Publications and other forms of dissemination of the work of Center affiliated researchers and practitioners;
  • Teaching future generations of diverse academic executives, scholars, and policy makers; and

The Center for Studies in Higher Education (CSHE) was established in 1957 by the Regents of the University of California, with the support of a grant from the Carnegie Corporation, as the first research unit in the United States solely devoted to the study of higher education policy issues.

Reflecting its original charge, CSHE: 1) pursues multidisciplinary research and supports a network of scholars; 2) serves as a hub of research on higher education for the multi-campus University of California system and internationally; 3) organizes events and a visiting scholars program; 4) acts as a forum for policy discussions; 4) generates publications and other forms of dissemination of the work of researchers and practitioners; and 5) provides programs to support young researchers and to develop the next generation of academic leaders.

The convergence of such issues as growing inequality in much of the world, politicalization of policy debates, attacks on academic freedom, declines in public funding, and changing demographics, present serious challenges for higher education in California, the nation, and the world. CSHE is addressing these issues through individual research and publications by staff and associates, and through research programs that foster discussions and demonstrate applications of solutions.

Areas of Research at CSHE

  • Academic Freedom
  • Greater Access to Higher Education
  • Admissions Policies
  • Student Experiences and Outcomes
  • Neo-Nationalism/The Role of Universities in Promoting Democracy
  • Internationalization
  • History of the University of California
  • Women and Minorities in Higher Education
  • California’s Master Plan for Higher Education
  • Higher Education Governance and Finance
  • Curricular Evolution in Relation to Emerging Research and Society’s Needs and Values

CSHE welcomes research collaborations with other centers, departments and institutions. 

CSHE Programs

Staff contact
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).