Invitational Global Forum—Rome, Italy

“Higher Education for Diversity, Social Inclusion, and Community: A Democratic Imperative”

June 13-16, 2017       Rome, Italy

Sponsored by the Council of Europe; the International Consortium for Higher Education, Civic Responsibility and Democracy and the European Wergeland Centre in collaboration with host campuses, Australia Catholic University and LUMSA University. 

Context:

Democracy is faced with serious challenges, including mistrust of democratic institutions, increasing political, educational, and economic inequalities, alienation, rising intolerance, and defiance of cultural diversity. Higher education must play an essential role in building a culture of democracy based on furthering inclusion, recognizing the value of diversity, and fostering democratic communities.

This was the fifth global forum that has developed as a core component of the ongoing partnership between the Council of Europe and the International Consortium for Higher Education, Civic Responsibility and Democracy to promote democracy, human rights and the rule of law, as well as social cohesion and intercultural dialogue through higher education. The 2017 Global Forum was sponsored by the Council of Europe; the International Consortium for Higher Education, Civic Responsibility and Democracy; the European Wergeland Centre; and the host universities, LUMSA University and Australian Catholic University, Rome Centre.

The Forum gathered some 100-150 higher education leaders and representatives of public authorities and NGOs from Europe, the United States, Canada, Australia, Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America.

Aims and Objectives:

  • An increased commitment to higher education’s contribution to developing and advancing a culture of democracy.
  • A better understanding of how higher education can work democratically with communities to promote inclusion and diversity.
  • A volume in the Council of Europe Higher Education Series.

Additionally, there were two-preconferences.  The first was hosted by Australian Catholic University-Rome Centre and the Sant’Egidio community that is working with refugees in Rome.  The second was an invitational meeting on “Higher Education Institutions as Local Actors” hosted by the Council of Europe in collaboration with the Anchors Institution Task Force.

Links—

LUMSA University Forum webpage: https://www.lumsa.it/en/international_Global_Forum_2017

Video on Global Forum: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CtrzkJv2HwA

Sant’Egidio community: http://www.santegidio.org/pageID/1/langID/en/idLng/1064/HOME.html

Anchors Institution Task Force: http://www.margainc.com/initiatives/aitf/

Publication following Rome Global Forum: Higher Education for Diversity, Social Inclusion and Community: A democratic imperative

  • Sjur Bergan and Ira Harkavy (eds)
  • Council of Europe higher education series No. 22 – 2018
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