New Article: Higher education institutions are anchors for democracy

Posted by University of Pennsylvania’s Netter Center for Community Partnerships on July 19, 2022

Ira Harkey and Rita Hodges of the Netter Center recently co-authored this article with four of Netter’s global partners. Published in University World News, the article is about the Global Forum that Netter co-hosted at Dublin City University in Ireland (June 16-17). The article, Higher education institutions are anchors for democracy, highlights some of the key challenges and opportunities discussed at the meeting, including turning dialogue into local action and building a global movement. The Netter Center (with Ira as Chair of the International Consortium for Higher Education, Civic Responsibility, and Democracy, and Rita as Executive Secretary of this group) played the lead organizing role for this global invitational conference — which included over 100 participants from 40 different countries across the globe. (More information on the conference, if interested, can be found here).

Without higher education’s commitment and leadership, we will not have real democracy. This was the primary conclusion of the Global Forum on Higher Education Leadership for Democracy, Sustainability and Social Justice held at Dublin City University in June.

Although this was the seventh Global Forum involving cooperation between the Council of Europe and the International Consortium for Higher Education, Civic Responsibility and Democracy since 1999, it was the first under the Global Cooperation for the Democratic Mission of Higher Education, which also includes the Organization of American States and the International Association of Universities.

Attended by participants from 40 countries, the invitational conference was part of the programme of the Irish Chairmanship of the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers and was addressed by Ireland’s Minister of State for European Affairs, Thomas Byrne.

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