The 21st century is times of knowledge economy and the important historical period during which Chinese market economy is growing mature. In order to meet the demand of developing knowledge economy and training talents, Chinese Higher Education is now transforming from the old institution fit planned economy to the new one fit market economy. It has undergone great changes in conception, institution and the mode of management. And its position has become more and more important in China's modernization. Practice calls for theoretical innovation in higher education reform.  
        The policy makers of Nankai University founded the Division of Higher Education under the direct leadership of the President to do research in new situations and problems in 1983. the University administration emphasized higher education research was the buttress and propellant of its reform and development, encouraged the research in 21st Chinese and world Higher education and made it one of the indices to evaluate educational research performance of all colleges and departments in December 1998. The Higher Education Institute was founded on the basis of the Division at the same time.  
        After years of development, the Institute was authorized to confer the master's degree in higher education in 2000. During the internal institutional reform of adopting college system which aimed for building high level university in September of the same year, the Institute was separated from the administrative units and became an academic one which focused mainly on research and talents training, but provided services for the university's reform and development when it was necessary. It obtained the authority of conferring the doctoral degree in Economics and Management of Education in 2011 and will enroll students in 2012.  
        Nankai has an excellent tradition and many prominent educationists. It boasts its own style of operation, educational thoughts and methods. Education was one of its academic programs as early as the 1920 ' s and it was cancelled in 1952 in the process of Universities and Colleges Readjustment. Nankai is a well-known comprehensive University at home and abroad. The Institute will make full use of the advantages of all its disciplines to further advance educational research in such areas as Theory of Higher Education, Economics of Higher Education, History of Higher Education, Higher education, International and Comparative Higher Education, Higher Education in Enterprises, Psychology of Higher Education, Management of Higher Education and so on. We believe we can form our own features in research as soon as possible.  
        The Institute will keep on training talents in Higher Education and Management by the Master's degree and doctoral degree programs and establish undergraduate programs in Education timely. We will try to make it one of the most important bases of research and talent training in Higher Education in the country in the 12th Five Plan' or longer time.  
        Through its research in higher education, the Institute will apply the theories to practice, theorize the national and the university practice, exchange experience in higher education reform and create an open and free academic atmosphere so that it can push education reform and serve the development of the university as well as the whole country.  
        The Nankai Education Forum has been sponsored by the Division since 1986.