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University values and responsibilities: responding to the challenges of the future

Launch of MCU 2020 & 32nd Anniversary of the Magna Charta Universitatum

Jun 16, 2021 09:00 AM to Jun 17, 2021

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In 1988, 388 Rectors from mostly European universities met in Bologna to sign the Magna Charta Universitatum: a document that enshrines the essential principles of autonomy, academic freedom, knowledge, research, and teaching, on which the concept of mobility and free international exchange for students, researchers and academics is based.

The 1988 Magna Charta recognised links between universities, particularly in a European context. However, in the last decade, the MCO's signatory base has expanded significantly, involving an increasing number of universities from all over the world. This and other developments pointed to the need to develop a new version of the document, one that recognises issues arising from our fast-changing world and takes a truly global perspective. To this end, the Magna Charta Observatory initiated a discussion with its signatory universities and other bodies to ascertain how academic values ​​could have more impact within universities and the external structural contexts that shape them. This led to a view that a revised version of the Magna Charta should be prepared which reflects the perspectives of both leadership and the whole academic community and should explicitly include concepts such as diversity, inclusion, social responsibility and university citizenship.

Simultaneously the Living Values ​​project was being developed and piloted. This enabled universities to review their values, identify the leading principles that will guide their strategy and behaviour and help them to become stronger and more cohesive communities and more effective for their various communities.

On 16th and 17th June 2021 the new Magna Charta (MCU 2020) will be signed for the first time. In view of the travel restrictions imposed by the pandemic this will be done virtually. All signatories of the 1988 MCU have been invited to sign the 2020 version by email and the fact of them doing so will be celebrated at the virtual event.

We would be honoured to have all signatory universities with us on 16 and 17 June to celebrate the first signing of MCU 2020. They will hear global perspectives from international speakers about the current and anticipated future environments facing universities and how the MCU 2020 responds to them to strengthen the role of universities in the preservation of the planet and promoting health, prosperity and enlightenment around the world.

Registration details here:

Meet the speakers:

Patrick Deane, about the MCU 2020:

Sijbolt Noorda: Why was it necessary to produce a new version of the Magna Charta Universitatum?

Jamil Salmi:
What do you think is the biggest change that universities have faced in the last 30 years? What will be the next big challenge?

Eva Egron-Polak: What is the main lesson that universities have learnt from Covid?

Astrid Soderbergh Widding: The importance of the MCU2020 update

Tamires Gomes Sampaio: The students' point of view about the MCU2020

Marcelo Knobel: What can universities do to widen access to underrepresented groups?

Peter Kwasi Kodjie: Are students sufficiently involved in the university governance and administration?

Amanda Crowfoot: How important are the values of MCU 2020 in achieving the EUA vision for 2030?

Hilligje van't Land: How does the IAU help universities work towards enabling the sustainable develoment goals to be achieved?

More information about this event…