02 November 2012

Asia Pacific Academic Conference


Public Lecture

Tuesday, 6 November 2012, 2.30-4.30 pm
Bilik Wawasan, Rumah Universiti, Universiti Malaya

Institutional Autonomy and Social Responsibility: 

The Magna Charta Universitatum and the Application of the Fundamental Principles of Higher Education

Anna Glass, Secretary General, Magna Charta Observatory, Bologna, Italy

Within the context of globalization, population growth and economic imperatives, universities are struggling to respond appropriately to challenges as they arise. Institutions are becoming entrepreneurial to stand out in the race to be ranked and to attract students and funding. Curricula, research and teaching practices are linked ever more closely with the needs of the market – whatever the “market” is for a given institution. Universities also market themselves as pathways toward private gain: prestige and the promise of gainful employment appeal directly to students and justify ever-higher tuition fees, even in countries with a long tradition of government-sponsored higher education.

In this context, what remains of higher education? What principles are retained? The Magna Charta Universitatum sets forth the fundamental principles of higher education, namely: 1) institutional autonomy, 2) academic freedom, 3) the intrinsic relationship between teaching and research and 4) the universality of knowledge. These principles set limits to the compromises higher education can make with the market, with the government and with all stakeholders, internal and external.

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