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GUNI founding members:




               Higher education’s contribution towards an
                            intercultural connected world


                                     Cristina Escrigas and Yazmin Cruz
                         Global University Network for Innovation (GUNI)



                                   IAU General Conference, 15-18 July 2008
Introduction
    What does the world of today need, to make progress tomorrow’s
    society?


    The main value of HE should be to serve the common good, at a time when
    what we understand by “good” and by “common” is difficult to define.


    Understanding the process of globalization requires an integrated
    approach, which include:
      Economic
      Social
      Political
      Cultural landscapes


    Economic globalization has been more effective in dominating the policy agenda
    of HE.

2                           IAU General Conference, 15-18 July 2008
Introduction

    After many years, during which the priority given to investing in
    higher education was challenged, nobody today doubts its
    value and need.

    This does not preclude questioning:
      The interchange of value between universities and society.

    Thus, we should ask:
      What knowledge has to be produced and disseminated to construct what
      kind of society.



3                       IAU General Conference, 15-18 July 2008
Introduction

    GUNI’s Report:
      Offers a critical and constructive
      analysis on the role of HE and its
      institutions regarding their contribution to
      human and social development.

      Aims to promote a debate that could
      enrich perspectives of the social relevance
      of HE in the context of globalization.

      Discusses how HE can respond to
      emerging social needs, including the
      human, cultural and political aspects.



4                         IAU General Conference, 15-18 July 2008
Introduction


    GUNI contributions to this conference follow some of the main
    contents of the Report:

      In points one and two:
           brief synthesis of higher education contribution to human and social
           development.


      In points three and four:
           main ideas of the various authors of the Report, on the role of higher
           education for intercultural dialogue and global citizenship.



5                       IAU General Conference, 15-18 July 2008
Present and future challenges for HEI’s: The emerging
role of higher education

     Challenges:

1.   Understanding the concept of knowledge itself.

      The frontiers between disciplines are becoming blurred
      Need to link up different areas of knowledge in order to understand
      complex problems.
      Incorporate a holistic vision of reality, which is possible through
      transdisciplinarity.
      Break the hegemony of conformity of thought,
      Incorporate more and different types of knowledge into academia.



 6                     IAU General Conference, 15-18 July 2008
Present and future challenges for HEI’s: The emerging
role of higher education

2.   Choosing between adapting to the demands of the labour
     market and anticipating the demands of society.

      Identify where to redirect problems and how to do this; where new
      knowledge is needed and how to disseminate it.

      Anticipating and being proactive are ways of responding to social
      demands, but perhaps not in the manner that society or the market
      expects.

      Establish a dialogue with society that creates an effective framework of
      relations with all sectors.




 7                      IAU General Conference, 15-18 July 2008
Present and future challenges for HEI’s: The emerging
role of higher education


3.   Rethink the social value of higher education.
       Change of paradigm, from a system that emphasizes the individual and
       competitiveness to one that emphasizes the social and collectiveness.

     In education:
       Train professionals or to educate citizens who will carry out a
       profession.
       Decisions in all of the professions can be made using an approach that
       focuses on collective common good.
       We are not sufficiently aware of the collective implications of our
       individual decisions.
       Higher education plays a fundamental role in terms of the teaching
       content, values and skills it incorporates.


 8                      IAU General Conference, 15-18 July 2008
Present and future challenges for HEI’s: The emerging
role of higher education

     In research:

       Explore the connection between scientific research and social needs in
       order to give support to political decision-making that have collective
       implications.

       Consider the extent to which universities’ research agendas coincide
       with the priority agenda for development in the world, is an exercise of
       social responsibility.

     We are therefore faced with the need to:
       Reinvent an innovative and socially committed response from
       higher education, which anticipates and contributes value for
       social transformation, taking full responsibility for public
       service.


 9                       IAU General Conference, 15-18 July 2008
Globalization, higher education and intercultural
understanding

  Diversity of civilizations and cultures is a basic feature of human society
  and a driving force of human progress.

  Understand globalization adequately implies taking into account its
  cultural dimension.

  Globalization describes an interconnected world, not a single world.

  Multicultural coexistence is essential to guarantee world peace and
  security. In this context one of the main concern consists in
  promoting:
       Harmonious multicultural coexistence and at making diversity a source of
      enrichment rather than conflict.




 10                       IAU General Conference, 15-18 July 2008
Globalization, higher education and intercultural
understanding


  The cultural mission of the university has extended into
  cosmopolitanism, in the cultivation of post-national kinds of citizenship:

      To give expression to an alternative to corporate global culture,
      offering an alternative to market rationality and not acting as exclusive
      agents of states.

  The Council of Europe approved a plan of action for developing
  intercultural dialogue in 2005.

      Pilot project, ‘Universities as Sites of Citizenship’
      Declared 2008 the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue.




 11                      IAU General Conference, 15-18 July 2008
Globalization, higher education and intercultural
understanding

  The Alliance of Civilizations:
    It recommends a practicable programme of action to assist in diminishing
    hostility and in promoting harmony among the nations and cultures of the
    world.

  The Alliance of Civilizations provides an excellent opportunity for higher
  education.

  The final report of the High Level Group highlights that:
    Education systems today face the challenge of preparing young people for an
    interdependent world




 12                    IAU General Conference, 15-18 July 2008
Globalization, higher education and intercultural
understanding




  Nevertheless, the contribution of higher education and
  scientific research to multicultural coexistence is still absent
  from the agendas of the institutional authorities.
  It is also absent from higher education sites in different
  parts of the world, as it is considered a political issue, rather
  than a strategic matter for academic debate and research.




 13                 IAU General Conference, 15-18 July 2008
HE role for intercultural understanding: towards a
global citizenship



  Cultural understanding means the ability to place ourselves in the
  role of somebody who has embraced that culture.

  Intercultural communication means a motivating interaction in
  order to find solutions to common problems.

  The first challenge is to:
    Change the monocultural way of evaluating peoples, cultures and
    knowledge, as this approach is at odds to the plurality and diversity
    of the world.



 14                   IAU General Conference, 15-18 July 2008
HE role for intercultural understanding: towards a
global citizenship


  HEIs need to adapt its functions to the reality of multiculturalism, as
  new generations of graduates will be operating within this context.

  There are experiences and proposals, which include:
      Institutional level
      Curriculum contents
      Research
      Outreach strategies

  HEIs should enable their students to gain a critical consciousness of
  the world they inhabit, to help them to better anticipate and
  articulate alternative processes to common problems.




 15                     IAU General Conference, 15-18 July 2008
HE role for intercultural understanding: towards a
global citizenship

  Curriculum level:
      Education in shared values,
      Education for national and global citizenship and cosmopolitism.
      Education for dialogue that enables students to act as global citizens.

  A key dynamic is the local-global relation; broader understanding arises when
  the local contexts of interpretation are transformed in light of the encounter with
  the global.

  Seeing things in a different way. This implies to promote the debate around
  fundamental issues including the future of society.

  Emphasis should be placed on including in the curriculum aspects that are currently
  “marginal” areas of our education programs, such as
      Emotional intelligence
      Knowledge and opportunity to adapt to and function in unfamiliar contexts, among others
      (see paper)


 16                           IAU General Conference, 15-18 July 2008
HE role for intercultural understanding: towards a
global citizenship



  The development of global competences and intercultural
  competences should become part of university programmes.

  Curricula offer us a great possibility to overcome most of the
  challenges faced by higher education in a globalized world.

  Integrate new areas of knowledge and practice within the
  current curricula as a transversal issue.




 17                 IAU General Conference, 15-18 July 2008
HE role for intercultural understanding: towards a
global citizenship

  Cooperative research is necessary to create tools for:
      Understanding multiculturalism
      Consolidate a conceptual framework
      Explore new analytical methods
      Seek new forms of knowledge
      Understand values implied

  The outreach strategies could also be focused on facilitating
  intercultural understanding and coexistence.

  It is important that HEIs think different about the social context of
  students, not only in terms of
      Similar/different experiences
      Home/international students
      How societies are becoming more interconnected and interdependent


 18                      IAU General Conference, 15-18 July 2008
HE role for intercultural understanding: towards a
global citizenship



  Other key factor for HEIs related to it’s social commitment, which is
  to become a reference in emerging social issues.


  It is particularly important for leaders in academia to talk openly about:
      The need for diversity in a more interconnected world.
      The need to build institutional links between HEIs and other societal
      actors, to contribute and promote dialogue that supports greater
      understanding and tolerance in society.




 19                    IAU General Conference, 15-18 July 2008
HE role for intercultural understanding: towards a
global citizenship


  The High-level Group Report on the Alliance of
  Civilizations provides a large set of proposals related to the
  specific role of higher education and multicultural
  understanding.

  HEIs should decide which role it could play in terms of its
  social commitment to contribute to the application of this wide
  range of goals and lines of action to build better societies for all.




 20                  IAU General Conference, 15-18 July 2008
Final Remarks


 The need for multicultural coexistence enable the academia to contribute
 to understanding, harmony and peace, to the benefit of the humanity.

 We need a new idea of the university today, it could be to connect the
 various kinds of knowledge.

 Intentional analysts of the major changes that are occurring and of possible
 initiatives for anticipating, shaping and guiding actions towards another
 possible world.




21                    IAU General Conference, 15-18 July 2008
GUNI Secretariat
          Technical University of Catalonia (UPC)
          Jordi Girona, 31
          TG Building (S1)
          E-08034 – Barcelona


          Tel: +34 93 401 2586
          Fax: +34 93 401 0855

          http://www.guni-rmies.net/




22   IAU General Conference, 15-18 July 2008

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Utrecht sb- cristina escrigas

  • 1. GUNI founding members: Higher education’s contribution towards an intercultural connected world Cristina Escrigas and Yazmin Cruz Global University Network for Innovation (GUNI) IAU General Conference, 15-18 July 2008
  • 2. Introduction What does the world of today need, to make progress tomorrow’s society? The main value of HE should be to serve the common good, at a time when what we understand by “good” and by “common” is difficult to define. Understanding the process of globalization requires an integrated approach, which include: Economic Social Political Cultural landscapes Economic globalization has been more effective in dominating the policy agenda of HE. 2 IAU General Conference, 15-18 July 2008
  • 3. Introduction After many years, during which the priority given to investing in higher education was challenged, nobody today doubts its value and need. This does not preclude questioning: The interchange of value between universities and society. Thus, we should ask: What knowledge has to be produced and disseminated to construct what kind of society. 3 IAU General Conference, 15-18 July 2008
  • 4. Introduction GUNI’s Report: Offers a critical and constructive analysis on the role of HE and its institutions regarding their contribution to human and social development. Aims to promote a debate that could enrich perspectives of the social relevance of HE in the context of globalization. Discusses how HE can respond to emerging social needs, including the human, cultural and political aspects. 4 IAU General Conference, 15-18 July 2008
  • 5. Introduction GUNI contributions to this conference follow some of the main contents of the Report: In points one and two: brief synthesis of higher education contribution to human and social development. In points three and four: main ideas of the various authors of the Report, on the role of higher education for intercultural dialogue and global citizenship. 5 IAU General Conference, 15-18 July 2008
  • 6. Present and future challenges for HEI’s: The emerging role of higher education Challenges: 1. Understanding the concept of knowledge itself. The frontiers between disciplines are becoming blurred Need to link up different areas of knowledge in order to understand complex problems. Incorporate a holistic vision of reality, which is possible through transdisciplinarity. Break the hegemony of conformity of thought, Incorporate more and different types of knowledge into academia. 6 IAU General Conference, 15-18 July 2008
  • 7. Present and future challenges for HEI’s: The emerging role of higher education 2. Choosing between adapting to the demands of the labour market and anticipating the demands of society. Identify where to redirect problems and how to do this; where new knowledge is needed and how to disseminate it. Anticipating and being proactive are ways of responding to social demands, but perhaps not in the manner that society or the market expects. Establish a dialogue with society that creates an effective framework of relations with all sectors. 7 IAU General Conference, 15-18 July 2008
  • 8. Present and future challenges for HEI’s: The emerging role of higher education 3. Rethink the social value of higher education. Change of paradigm, from a system that emphasizes the individual and competitiveness to one that emphasizes the social and collectiveness. In education: Train professionals or to educate citizens who will carry out a profession. Decisions in all of the professions can be made using an approach that focuses on collective common good. We are not sufficiently aware of the collective implications of our individual decisions. Higher education plays a fundamental role in terms of the teaching content, values and skills it incorporates. 8 IAU General Conference, 15-18 July 2008
  • 9. Present and future challenges for HEI’s: The emerging role of higher education In research: Explore the connection between scientific research and social needs in order to give support to political decision-making that have collective implications. Consider the extent to which universities’ research agendas coincide with the priority agenda for development in the world, is an exercise of social responsibility. We are therefore faced with the need to: Reinvent an innovative and socially committed response from higher education, which anticipates and contributes value for social transformation, taking full responsibility for public service. 9 IAU General Conference, 15-18 July 2008
  • 10. Globalization, higher education and intercultural understanding Diversity of civilizations and cultures is a basic feature of human society and a driving force of human progress. Understand globalization adequately implies taking into account its cultural dimension. Globalization describes an interconnected world, not a single world. Multicultural coexistence is essential to guarantee world peace and security. In this context one of the main concern consists in promoting: Harmonious multicultural coexistence and at making diversity a source of enrichment rather than conflict. 10 IAU General Conference, 15-18 July 2008
  • 11. Globalization, higher education and intercultural understanding The cultural mission of the university has extended into cosmopolitanism, in the cultivation of post-national kinds of citizenship: To give expression to an alternative to corporate global culture, offering an alternative to market rationality and not acting as exclusive agents of states. The Council of Europe approved a plan of action for developing intercultural dialogue in 2005. Pilot project, ‘Universities as Sites of Citizenship’ Declared 2008 the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue. 11 IAU General Conference, 15-18 July 2008
  • 12. Globalization, higher education and intercultural understanding The Alliance of Civilizations: It recommends a practicable programme of action to assist in diminishing hostility and in promoting harmony among the nations and cultures of the world. The Alliance of Civilizations provides an excellent opportunity for higher education. The final report of the High Level Group highlights that: Education systems today face the challenge of preparing young people for an interdependent world 12 IAU General Conference, 15-18 July 2008
  • 13. Globalization, higher education and intercultural understanding Nevertheless, the contribution of higher education and scientific research to multicultural coexistence is still absent from the agendas of the institutional authorities. It is also absent from higher education sites in different parts of the world, as it is considered a political issue, rather than a strategic matter for academic debate and research. 13 IAU General Conference, 15-18 July 2008
  • 14. HE role for intercultural understanding: towards a global citizenship Cultural understanding means the ability to place ourselves in the role of somebody who has embraced that culture. Intercultural communication means a motivating interaction in order to find solutions to common problems. The first challenge is to: Change the monocultural way of evaluating peoples, cultures and knowledge, as this approach is at odds to the plurality and diversity of the world. 14 IAU General Conference, 15-18 July 2008
  • 15. HE role for intercultural understanding: towards a global citizenship HEIs need to adapt its functions to the reality of multiculturalism, as new generations of graduates will be operating within this context. There are experiences and proposals, which include: Institutional level Curriculum contents Research Outreach strategies HEIs should enable their students to gain a critical consciousness of the world they inhabit, to help them to better anticipate and articulate alternative processes to common problems. 15 IAU General Conference, 15-18 July 2008
  • 16. HE role for intercultural understanding: towards a global citizenship Curriculum level: Education in shared values, Education for national and global citizenship and cosmopolitism. Education for dialogue that enables students to act as global citizens. A key dynamic is the local-global relation; broader understanding arises when the local contexts of interpretation are transformed in light of the encounter with the global. Seeing things in a different way. This implies to promote the debate around fundamental issues including the future of society. Emphasis should be placed on including in the curriculum aspects that are currently “marginal” areas of our education programs, such as Emotional intelligence Knowledge and opportunity to adapt to and function in unfamiliar contexts, among others (see paper) 16 IAU General Conference, 15-18 July 2008
  • 17. HE role for intercultural understanding: towards a global citizenship The development of global competences and intercultural competences should become part of university programmes. Curricula offer us a great possibility to overcome most of the challenges faced by higher education in a globalized world. Integrate new areas of knowledge and practice within the current curricula as a transversal issue. 17 IAU General Conference, 15-18 July 2008
  • 18. HE role for intercultural understanding: towards a global citizenship Cooperative research is necessary to create tools for: Understanding multiculturalism Consolidate a conceptual framework Explore new analytical methods Seek new forms of knowledge Understand values implied The outreach strategies could also be focused on facilitating intercultural understanding and coexistence. It is important that HEIs think different about the social context of students, not only in terms of Similar/different experiences Home/international students How societies are becoming more interconnected and interdependent 18 IAU General Conference, 15-18 July 2008
  • 19. HE role for intercultural understanding: towards a global citizenship Other key factor for HEIs related to it’s social commitment, which is to become a reference in emerging social issues. It is particularly important for leaders in academia to talk openly about: The need for diversity in a more interconnected world. The need to build institutional links between HEIs and other societal actors, to contribute and promote dialogue that supports greater understanding and tolerance in society. 19 IAU General Conference, 15-18 July 2008
  • 20. HE role for intercultural understanding: towards a global citizenship The High-level Group Report on the Alliance of Civilizations provides a large set of proposals related to the specific role of higher education and multicultural understanding. HEIs should decide which role it could play in terms of its social commitment to contribute to the application of this wide range of goals and lines of action to build better societies for all. 20 IAU General Conference, 15-18 July 2008
  • 21. Final Remarks The need for multicultural coexistence enable the academia to contribute to understanding, harmony and peace, to the benefit of the humanity. We need a new idea of the university today, it could be to connect the various kinds of knowledge. Intentional analysts of the major changes that are occurring and of possible initiatives for anticipating, shaping and guiding actions towards another possible world. 21 IAU General Conference, 15-18 July 2008
  • 22. GUNI Secretariat Technical University of Catalonia (UPC) Jordi Girona, 31 TG Building (S1) E-08034 – Barcelona Tel: +34 93 401 2586 Fax: +34 93 401 0855 http://www.guni-rmies.net/ 22 IAU General Conference, 15-18 July 2008