HETL Global Communities

Vision, Mission, and Values

“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.”

~Benjamin Franklin

The International Higher Education Teaching and Learning Association (HETL) is an independent, nonpartisan, nonsectarian, non-governmental, not-for-profit organization open to all educators from all nationalities, all institutional types, and all functions, levels, and disciplines within the global educational community. HETL advances the scholarship and practice of teaching and learning in higher education by focusing on four core areas: 1) global networking and interdisciplinary collaboration, 2) research, innovation, and academic publishing, 3) higher education development and capacity building, and 4) human rights and social justice. The vision of HETL focuses on teaching and learning because the teaching-learning process is the most fundamental process that lies at the core of all educational systems, regardless of institutional level or type or mission or discipline, and because lifelong and lifewide education lies at the heart of social and economic empowerment for all citizens.


patrickSince its founding, HETL has supported the democratization of higher education and has fostered international understanding and cooperation by building participatory spaces for all educators to come together for dialogue and collaboration. Thus, by creating a participatory culture of learning that removes political, social, geographic, and other barriers, HETL aims to give voice to the common needs, concerns, and aspirations shared by the global higher education community and to be a positive force for the development and stability of democratic societies. All educators are invited to participate in HETL’s many activities. As such, HETL is an association of educators, by educators, and for educators.

As a global community for research and innovation in teaching and learning, HETL seeks creative solutions to the toughest challenges confronting higher education and the world. HETL addresses these challenges collaboratively through transformative dialogue, cutting-edge research, and sharing of innovative best practices. A major strength of HETL is its diverse base of global perspectives that fosters creative thinking, meaningful dialogue and engagement, and purposeful action.


patrick The International HETL Portal gives the association a public presence and serves as a free clearinghouse for a wide array of resources and knowledge on teaching and learning and thus serves as an “academic digital commons”. The HETL Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education, the International HETL Review, and the Journal of Meaning-Centered Education disseminate current knowledge and research on teaching and learning by publishing peer-reviewed, scholarly, international, interdisciplinary, interprofessional articles from scholars, researchers, and education thought leaders from around the world.

The aim of all HETL publications is to promote and support the democratization of higher education publishing by inviting educators around the world to participate in HETL’s research and publishing projects. HETL strives to conduct the most innovative and meaningful research and to produce the highest quality books, journals, and other forms of publishing. HETL also convenes international academic conferences that allow educators from around the world to meet face-to-face and dialogue with the world’s top academic leaders and scholars.

HETL has a presence on several communication platforms which helps HETL reach out to and connect with educators from around the world. HETL utilizes the “digital commons” of the internet to cultivate a global participatory culture within higher education.


The shared vision of HETL is to advance the scholarship and practice of teaching and learning in higher education.  To achieve its vision, HETL works with and supports individual educators from all institutional types and missions and all types of educational institutions, associations, centers, and other groups committed to improving and transforming teaching and learning, including related areas such as curriculum, assessment, research, service, and community engagement, as well as related leadership areas such as governance, management, policy, strategy, and decision-making at all levels.

“The human experience is all about learning. And education is the primary means by which we as a global society facilitate that learning. Thus, our focus on transforming teaching and learning is not only at the core of the educational process but also at the core of the human experience.”

~ Patrick Blessinger


HETL and EDEN Sign Partnership Agreement

Since its founding, HETL has cultivated the democratization of higher education and HETL has evolved as a global grassroots effort by educators from around the world and as a leading voice on critical issues affecting the global education community. As such, HETL is an international educational association of educators, by educators, and for educators, based on democratic principles of shared governance and committed to addressing the real needs, concerns, and aspirations of the global education community. To bring the HETL vision to reality, the mission of HETL is to develop a global community of higher education professionals who come together to share their knowledge and expertise in teaching and learning. In carrying out this mission, HETL aims to give voice to the common needs, concerns, and aspirations shared by the global higher education community and to society at large. Thus, HETL continues to cultivate the democratization of higher education by working at the nexus of theory, practice, and policy – that point of convergence where transformative action begins.


HETL supports diversity in all its forms. Thus, the shared values of HETL (integrity, collegiality, diversity) drive a policy of inclusiveness that supports democratic principles of shared governance, institutional diversification, pedagogical pluralism, learning diversity, and freedom of inquiry. Difference is a chief characteristic of a twenty-first century global higher education ecosystem, thus these shared values bind the educational community together, regardless of institutional type or mission. To fulfill these shared values, HETL initiates meaningful activities, projects, and practices that fosters collaboration and capacity building at all levels (individual, group, institutional, national, international) as well as the democratization of higher education through professional, institutional, and higher educational development.


Through critical research and analysis, HETL continually assesses problems and opportunities that exist within HETL’s strategic focus areas. Based on these findings, HETL then develops conceptual models as well as useful theories that help drive meaningful change within the higher education community. The aim is to maximize strengths and take advantage of opportunities for transformative action. HETL focuses on changes that enable infrastructure development and capacity building that lead to long-term sustainable and meaningful change. HETL sets clear goals and benchmarks that enable progress to be monitored. HETL collaborates with others where needed to help achieve these goals. Strategies are adjusted based on a continuous feedback loop from the community and based on an evaluation of HETL’s outcomes.

To achieve the HETL mission and vision, HETL aims to:

Global Networking and Interdisciplinary Collaboration

  • foster international cooperation, understanding, and inclusion
  • foster global networking and interdisciplinary collaboration
  • cultivate academic integrity, collegiality, and diversity at all levels

Research, Innovation, and Academic Publishing

  • recognize excellence in educational research, practice, and service
  • promote scholarship of research and innovation within higher education
  • promote the highest professional standards and research ethics for educators

Higher Education Development and Capacity Building

  • foster capacity building at all levels (individual, institutional, national, global)
  • serve as a respected and credible voice for the higher education community
  • provide global leadership on critical issues impacting higher education

Human Rights and Social Justice

  • foster lifelong education as a basic human right
  • foster the application of democratic principles worldwide
  • foster equality and equity in social and economic matters


To achieve these aims, HETL will implement an integrated set of strategies in the following areas:

Global Networking and Interdisciplinary Collaboration

  • convene international meetings, events, and conferences
  • create and manage networks and communities at all levels
  • establish strategic partnerships with similar organizations
  • implement professional recognition programs and awards

Research, Innovation, and Academic Publishing

  • sponsor and conduct scholarly research on teaching and learning
  • sponsor and publish scholarly journals and academic publications
  • sponsor and implement innovative practices in higher education
  • sponsor and create think tanks on innovative academic research

Higher Education Development and Capacity Building

  • develop new governance and management models and practices
  • implement leadership development activities at all levels
  • create meaningful policy statements on critical education issues
  • advise governments and institutions on critical education issues

Human Rights and Social Justice

  • develop new human rights and justice theories and models
  • implement leadership development in inclusion and diversity
  • create meaningful policy statements on human rights and social justice
  • advise governments and institutions on human rights and justice issues


To submit an article, see the submission Instructions page.

For all other queries, please contact HETL support at [email protected]

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