Reflections on the global forums

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Abstract

This chapter reviews the development of the civic and democratic agenda for higher education through the work of the International Consortium for Higher Education, Civic Responsibility and Democracy, and the Council of Europe. It reviews the main themes of the Global Forums held every two/three years since 2008 and highlights the importance of the publication of the higher education volume of the Reference Framework for Democratic Competences in 2022. Over the course of this work we have tried to define and promote the value of civically engaged higher education institutions, committed to the values and practice of social justice in the role we played in society and the contribution we can make to promoting democratic societies characterised by a commitment to equity and justice. The focus has moved beyond the accumulation of evidence of good practice, in institutions that were already global leaders in civic engagement and the democratic mission, to one of embedding this practice into strategic priorities of higher education, institutionally and systemically. Along the way new challenges have emerged, including the narrowing of purpose based on a largely, or purely, economic agenda for higher education; the challenge of sustainability and climate change; and the rise of political populism, with its challenge to concepts of truth and evidence.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHigher education leadership for democracy, sustainability and social justice
EditorsSjur Bergan, Ira Harkavy, Ronaldo Munck
Place of PublicationStrasbourg
PublisherCouncil of Europe
Chapter25
Pages247-256
ISBN (Electronic)9789287193742
ISBN (Print)9789287193735
Publication statusPublished - 15 Dec 2023

Publication series

NameCouncil of Europe Higher Education Series
Number26

Keywords

  • Higher education
  • Comparative
  • Social justice
  • Democracy
  • anchor institutions
  • civic role

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences
  • Education

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