Canadan Education Community gathers in Ottawa to launch the GUNi World Report in Higher Education
Fifty members of Canada’s international education community gathered on March 20, 2014 in Ottawa to applaud the publication of Knowledge, Engagement and Higher Education: Contributing to Social Change. This volume is the fifth report in the series Higher Education in the World of the Global University Network for Innovation (GUNi).
Hosted by the Canadian Bureau for International Education (CBIE), in cooperation with the Canadian Commission for Unesco and Community-Based Research Canada, the launch acknowledged the invaluable contributions of Canadian academic leaders including the Guest Editor Dr. Budd L. Hall, co-chair of the UNESCO Chair in Community-based Research and Social Responsibility, professor of Community Development and Founding Director of the Office of Community-based Research in the University of Victoria; and contributors Dr. Sylvie B. de Grosbois, Director of the Community Services Unit at Université du Québec à Montréal and Dr. Edward T. Jackson, Senior Research Fellow in the Carleton Center for Community Innovation at Carleton University. All of whom shared their observations.
“One of our core beliefs as educators is that the act of learning is transformative,” said Ann Buller, Chair of the Board of CBIE, and President and CEO of Centennial College, in her welcoming remarks. “It’s our responsibility to ensure that higher education provides positive changes for all members of society and not just a privileged few.”
Keynote remarks were offered by Dr. Chad Gaffield, President, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and Professor of History, University of Ottawa. In his post for CBIE’s blog, Without Borders, timed with the launch, Dr. Gaffield stated: “The complex challenges facing society in the 21st century characteristically transcend national boundaries while also calling for multi-dimensional solutions. From poverty and inequality to sustainability and cyber security, such challenges defy simple fixes or cookie-cutter approaches that ignore the local specificity of global issues. For this reason, post-secondary institutions are increasingly collaborating with community organizations, businesses and governments, and at all levels, to develop new insights and effective strategies for enhancing quality of life both locally and globally.
The report draws on 73 authors from all world regions and is the most comprehensive global look at the links between knowledge, higher education and society ever undertaken.
The report will be also launched in other two events in Canada this May. On May 17-18, it will be presented in the “Collective Analysis Workshop for Mainstreaming CBS Project” and on May 19-22 in the “Conference on Beyond Engagement”. Both events will take place in the University of Victoria.