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Living Values project

Living our Values in Higher Education institutions: a Self-Evaluation Instrument for Universities Invitation to pilot the MCO self-evaluation instrument

The Magna Charta Observatory invites signatory universities to apply to pilot its Living Values project. It is seeking to select up to 12 universities with different missions in different parts of the globe and will provide professional support for them in undertaking this project.

The purpose of the project is to enable universities to review their values and the extent to which they are ‘living’ them in practice. ‘Values’ include both the fundamental values set out in the Magna Charta Universitatum and also values which universities select themselves to inform their missions.

The review process requires leadership by the Rector or a senior member of staff and is planned to involve students, faculty, staff, key committees, governing bodies and other relevant stakeholders. It is designed to challenge current institutional positions and practices, to enable universities to identify or confirm what is unique about them, and to modify their activities or processes where appropriate. In short, it is designed to be of strategic importance and enable universities to improve.

It will do this by aiding decision making about how universities might better distinguish themselves and achieve their mission more fully; perhaps in conjunction with a review of the institution’s strategic plan. The process can also serve to enhance the effectiveness of governance and other internal processes.

The benefits to institutions of participating in the pilot project are the provision of: 

  • a supported and cost-effective evaluation of their values; the extent to which they are relevant, are put into practice and might yield more value;
  • an opportunity to make their staff more aware of their institutional values and more committed to them, leading to greater effectiveness and removing barriers to the realisation of an institution’s values and lead to
  • an alignment of individual and institutional values. 

Institutions selected to participate will be assigned an MCO Ambassador who will work with them during the process.

The pilot project will start in, or soon as possible after, September 2017. There will be a review meeting for all pilot universities in Bologna in March 2018. All pilot universities will be expected to be present at that meeting and at the MCO’s conference in Salamanca in September 2018 when the findings from the pilot will form a central part of the annual MCO conference.

The MCO will provide professional support at no cost to the pilot universities.

Pilot sites are expected to meet their travel and accommodation costs for the March meeting and the September conference.

The draft outline of the self-evaluation instrument can be obtained on request from 

Expressions of interest in becoming a pilot site should be made by the Rector and emailed to the Administrator at  by 11 August 2017.

David Lock, Secretary General
Observatory of the Magna Charta
Via Zamboni 25
40126 Bologna, Italy
Tel. +39.051.2098709