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Which values are included?

There is no universally agreed canon of values; however, universities that have signed the Magna Charta Universitatum (as well as those that have not) may wish to include the fundamental values evident at the MCO’s inception some 30 years ago. These are academic freedom, institutional autonomy, and the concomitant responsibility to society. Their importance at the global level of higher education has been widely confirmed.

Other values underpinning institutional missions often develop over time and may include:

  • integrity and fairness;
  • equity;
  • creativity, innovativeness, and excellence;
  • social responsibility and community service;
  • diversity, pluralism, and inclusiveness, and
  • health, well-being, and a caring community.

In selecting values institutions are advised to be quite clear about the conceptual and practical differences between high-level (as distinct from operational) values and how they may manifest in mission, politics, behaviours, processes, and structures. Adopting a small number of values is recommended; fewer values tend to be more memorable and thus more effective.

The values identified by universities that piloted the guidance can be found in their reports, accessible here.