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HIGHER EDUCATION, DEMOCRATIC CULTURE AND SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY Sjur Bergan Council of Europe EURASHE Annual Conference 2007.

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Presentation on theme: "HIGHER EDUCATION, DEMOCRATIC CULTURE AND SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY Sjur Bergan Council of Europe EURASHE Annual Conference 2007."— Presentation transcript:

1 HIGHER EDUCATION, DEMOCRATIC CULTURE AND SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY Sjur Bergan Council of Europe EURASHE Annual Conference 2007

2 HIGHER EDUCATION MADE TO MEASURE? What measure? Increasing pace of change Mobility in the labor market Need to update knowledge Education not a once in a lifetime experience Yet: we often speak as if higher education served one purpose only: preparation for work

3 PURPOSES OF HIGHER EDCUATION Preparation for the labor market Preparation for life as active citizens in democratic societies Personal development Development and maintenance of a broad, advanced knowledge base

4 SOCIAL DIMENSION Cuts across the main purposes Equal opportunities Competence Subject specific Generic Individuals in society Individuals for society

5 THE BIG ISSUES Sustainable societies Environmentally Economically Politically Socially Culturally Coping with diversity Public vs. private space

6 HIGHER EDUCATION AND CITIZENSHIP Relies on advanced generic competences Ability to: understand complex realities assess complex and often incomplete information weigh benefits and disadvantages of different orders accept short term pain for the sake of long term gain

7 DEMOCRATIC CULTURE What we need to make democratic institutions and democratic laws work Must be developed and maintained in all societies Not achieved once and for all Education is key to success

8 COUNCIL OF EUROPE PROJECT The Responsibility of Higher Education for Democratic Culture With US partners Participation of institutions from other parts of the world Forum in Strasbourg June 2006 Declaration Network Web site Follow up Philadelphia March 2007 You are welcome to join the project!!

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10 SOME CHALLENGES TO HIGHER EDCUATION IN EUROPE Develop a broader view of higher education Greater sense of civic responsibility Work for cohesion and sustainability See connection between classroom and society Help universities and academics see their role as actors in society Take a longer term view in the age of the sound bite

11 ULTIMATE CHALLENGE? Help learners Help learners Not only to do well… Not only to do well… …but also to do good …but also to do good


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