New England Board of Higher Education

The New England Board of Higher Education (NEBHE) is an interstate compact that was founded in 1955, when six visionary New England governors – realizing that the future prosperity of New England rested on higher education – committed their states to the shared pursuit of academic excellence. Soon thereafter, NEBHE was approved by New England’s six state legislatures and authorized by the U.S. Congress. NEBHE serves the six New England states: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont.

A sample of NEBHE’s work through the years on behalf of New England’s educators, legislators, policymakers, students, and parents include:

1955: NEBHE is established to implement the New England Higher Education Compact, expand educational opportunity and foster cooperation among the region’s colleges and universities.

1957: NEBHE establishes the (or Tuition Break), enabling New England students to pay a lower tuition rate at out-of-state public land-grant universities within New England if they pursue certain academic programs that are not offered by their home state’s public institutions. The RSP would invite community and technical colleges in 1967 and state colleges in 1972, and later transition to the name Tuition Break.

1979: NEBHE creates the Commission on Higher Education and the Economy of New England, comprising college presidents, labor officials, professors, bank executives, publishers and business leaders. It is the first of several NEBHE commissions to hold conferences and release publications on diverse issues such as biotechnology, distance learning, international competitiveness, the legal profession, human capital and higher ed retirement plans.

1986: NEBHE begins publishing its quarterly journal, . In 2007, the journal is rebranded as The New England Journal of Higher Education, and in 2010, moves entirely online to nebhe.org.

Connection: New England’s Journal of Higher Education and Economic Development

1993: NEBHE creates the New England Technical Education Partnership, bringing together educators and other professionals to improve New England’s two-year technical education programs, which ultimately advances “problem-based learning.”

1999: NEBHE and the John W. McCormack Institute of Public Affairs at the University of Massachusetts Boston conduct The Future of New England survey asking 1,000 New England opinion leaders and 1,000 New England households their views on pressing public policy issues, regional economic prospects and opportunities for interstate action in New England.

2002: NEBHE initiates a series of three conferences addressing key issues and challenges in workforce development, culminating in a policy report titled Building Human Capital: A New England Strategy, which recommends steps to improve science and math teaching in New England schools, expand adult literacy programs and reform community colleges.

2003: NEBHE launches the New England Higher Education Excellence Awards to honor New England individuals and organizations who show exceptional leadership in behalf of higher education, public policy or the advancement of educational opportunity.

2006: NEBHE launches its College Ready New England initiative to encourage more New England students to prepare for, enroll in and graduate from New England colleges and universities.

2012: NEBHE and the Davis Educational Foundation convene more than 400 academic, philanthropic and education leaders in a series of discussions to explore innovative strategies identified by regional leaders to address cost and affordability issues challenging the region’s institutions and its students. NEBHE then works with the foundation to launch the Higher Education Innovation Challenge.

2015: NEBHE launches the New England component of the national (SARA), funded by generous grants from the Lumina Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Accredited degree-granting institutions in a SARA state that offer distance education courses can then seek approval from their state to participate in SARA. NEBHE now coordinates SARA for all six New England states, as well as New York and New Jersey.

2017: NEBHE launches the Commission on Higher Education & Employability. Chaired by Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo, the Commission brings together employers and higher education leaders, as well as policy leaders, to ramp up efforts aimed at bolstering the region’s workforce future.

2018: Lumina Foundation awarded NEBHE a grant to launch (HVCNE) in partnership with . As part of HVCNE, higher education institutions and other credential providers across the region are publishing credentials awarded in four areas (life-/bioscience, health, IT, and business & finance) to the Credential Registry, a cloud-based library that houses, organizes, and links credential information. The Credential Registry uses the Credential Transparency Description Language (CTDL), which provides a common set of terms to describe credentials and allows machines to use a readable language that can be used to build customized apps or integrate data. The overarching goal of HVCNE is to provide an infrastructure that increases the transparency of the credential marketplace so that prospective credential-seekers and employers can easily assess critical information about the meaning of various credentials. Further, Registry data has already begun to inform the region's public policy decisions around workforce development, career pathways, and strategies to meet attainment goals.