Philip G. Altbach joins Boston College faculty in 1994 from the State University of New York at Buffalo.
The Center for International Higher Education (CIHE) is established in 1995, with Philip Altbach as director. The Center is allocated office space at 207 Campion Hall. The Center’s staff included Philip Altbach as director, Salina Kopellas as administrative assistant, and two graduate assistants, one funded by the Monan Chair and one by the School of Education.
In 1995, the first issue of ‘International Higher Education’ is published by CIHE through the BC Library System.
In approximately 1996, a grant from the Ford Foundation is obtained for basic CIHE support. This grant continued for about 15 years with several renewals and a total allocation of about $1 million. The grant provided an additional GA position and funds for research and general support for CIHE.
In 1996, CIHE hosts its first professional development program, a program for senior administrators of the University of Amsterdam that aimed at providing an introduction to American higher education management.
Throughout the 1990s, CIHE published its own books and distributes them without cost to readers and libraries in emerging economies, thanks to funding from the Ford Foundation grant. CIHE also sponsors another book series, Garland Studies in Higher Education, during this period.
The first of many research-based conferences was held at BC in June 1998 on the topic of private higher education. The methodology used for this conference was later used for other CIHE projects—asking researchers to draft papers on a theme and discussing them at the conference and then revising for publication.
This conference included 50 researchers, policymakers, and leaders in private higher education from around the world. Main funding came from the Ford Foundation. Private Prometheus: Private Higher Education and Development in the 21st Century (Greenwood, 1999) included the papers from the conference.
CIHE has been concerned with developing the field of international higher education since its establishment and over the years has put together several inventories of centers and programs in the field, all funded internally. The first is published in 2000.
In 2004, Philip Altbach is selected by the Fulbright agency to be the Distinguished Scholar Leader of the Fulbright New Century Scholars program, a two-year program that selected 31 scholars from around the world to work together on higher education themes. Three conferences, one at BC, were organized, along with various research themes.
In 2005, a new book series, initially published by Sense Publishers, Global Perspectives on Higher Education, is launched.
In 2007, Laura Rumbley is hired as research associate of CIHE, after BC approves an additional staff member.
Beginning in 2008, a 28-country comparative study of academic salaries is cosponsored (and mainly funded) by the Higher School of Economics in Moscow, with a working conference held in Moscow. This marks the first of many joint CIHE-HSE projects.
In 2008, CIHE signs an agreement with Shanghai Jiao Tong University in China to produce a Chinese translation of IHE, the first of many translations produced by partners around the world.
Laura Rumbley returns in 2012 as Associate Director, a position she held until 2018.
In 2013, Philip G. Altbach retires from his tenured full-time professorship as the Monan Chair and is appointed Research Professor at BC. From 2013 to 2015, he continues as director of CIHE
In 2013, IHE is launched electronically, via the BC library system.
Beginning in 2014, the Carnegie Corporation of New York, through its Africa program, provides funding to CIHE for work focused specifically on Africa. This project, coordinated by former CIHE doctoral graduate Damtew Teferra, from his position at Kwazulu Natal University, produced three HEFAALA (Higher Education Forum for Africa, Asia and Latin America) conferences and supported the launch of the International Journal of African Higher Education and the International Network for African Higher Education.
In 2015, Hans de Wit is appointed CIHE Director and Professor of the Practice in the Lynch School of Education.
In 2016, new academic programs in International Higher Education are launched, including a Certificate program, an MA program (now a specialist track through the MA in Higher Education) and a Dual Degree program with the Universidad de Guadalajara in Mexico.
In 2016, CIHE launches an in-house open access series, CIHE Perspectives, which publishes work by CIHE staff and affiliates, as well as the proceedings of conferences sponsored by the Center.
In 2016, CIHE, in cooperation with and sponsored by World Education Services (WES) launches the annual WES-CIHE Summer Institute for early career researchers. The Summer Institute represents one of CIHE’s key missions, i.e. to support the next generation of international higher education researchers around the world.
In 2017, the Center launches a new book series, Studies in International Higher Education, in collaboration with the Centre for Global Higher Education at the Institute of Education, London. The series ends in 2023 when Sage India stops publishing books, although all books in the initial series are now available open access on the CIHE website.
From 2018 to 2020, CIHE benefits from the presence of Betty Leask, Emerita Professor in International Higher Education at La Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia, who assumes the role of Visiting Professor.
In 2019, Laura Rumbley leaves BC, and Rebecca Schendel is appointed as her successor.
In Spring 2020, after being published independently by CIHE for 25 years, IHE begins to be published by DUZ Academic Publishers in Berlin, Germany, however with editorial independence fully intact. In the same year, and as the first issue under the new publisher, IHE’s 100 issue is published: ‘Unprecedented Challenges, Significant Opportunities?’
In November 2020, Hans de Wit steps down as CIHE Director of CIHE. The Center is reorganized with a distributed leadership structure. Gerardo Blanco – newly appointed Associate Professor of Higher Education – and Rebecca Schendel – former Associate Director – assume the roles of Academic and Managing Directors, respectively.
In 2021, CIHE assembles an Advisory Board to support the Center leadership in the development of long-term strategy and the identification of important global trends.
In 2021, the Educational Leadership and Higher Education Department in the Lynch School starts a new Executive EdD program in Higher Education. Chris R. Glass is hired as Director of the EdD program.
In response to the challenges of connecting internationally during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Center launches a monthly webinar series. The model’s success ensures that it continues, even after the public health situation improves.
In 2022, CIHE launches the Hans de Wit Fellowship for Visiting Scholars, funded by World Education Services, a fellowship which intends to support early career scholars in higher education studies with 4 months of scholarship at CIHE. The first fellow, Sevgi Kaya-Kasikci, arrives in March 2023.
The inaugural Biennial CIHE Conference on International Higher Education is held. The event brings together higher education researchers from around the world, in order to foster new connections and spark new research collaborations.
During the inaugural conference, the Philip G. Altbach Lecture is launched, an annual lecture that honors Phil’s leading and founding role in the field of international higher education. Simon Marginson of the University of Oxford is selected as the first speaker in the Altbach Lecture series.