Magna Charta Universitatum

The Magna Charta Universitatum is a document that was originally signed by 388 rectors and heads of universities from all over Europe and beyond on 18 September 1988, the 900th anniversary of the University of Bologna.

The document contains principles of academic freedom and institutional autonomy as a guideline for good governance and self-understanding of universities in the future.

In 2018 a multi-national group was formed to review the Magna Charta Universitatum in the context of changes to universities and the environments in which they operated which had occurred since 1988. This was informed by a wide consultation and was adopted by the Governing Council of the MCO in July 2020.

The new MCU removes nothing from the original fundamental values to which universities signed up. It strives to be responsive to and resonate with contemporary challenges and concerns.

Its tone recognises that the pursuit of the fundamental values has worth along with their actual attainment, which, in practice, is a constant quest.

It recognises the more global nature of what universities do and the wider range of local responsibilities which they have.