Launch of the 6th Big Tent Communiqué on Higher Education and Engagement


GUNi, together with more than 15 international partners, signed this joint statement in order to raise awareness on the importance the community university engagement and social responsibility of higher education considering the current global situation   

Higher Education, GUNi

The 6th Big Tent Communiqué was released last 9 of October during the 12th Annual Conference of the PASCAL International Observatory.  GUNi together with more than 15 international organizations agreed on this joint statement making a call for action addressed to higher education institutions to undertake collaborative actions with civil society and government in order to better address global challenges.

This years’ statement untitled “Local Identities and Global Citizenship: A message from Catania and Challenges for Universities” was inspired by the location of the PASCAL Conference, which was Catania (Italy) considered ‘the frontier of fortress Europe’. On this thinking in mind, participants focused on ‘how cities and their regions are connected to their universities at strategic frontiers’, the main theme of this international conference that included concern about the political frontiers and how it is linked to global challenges such as employment, migration or climate change.

The Big Tent is a group of national, regional and global networks that share a focus on community-university engagement and social responsibility of higher education and have agreed to issue statements from time to time. The first Communique was released in 2010 and addressed the North-South Cooperation in Community University Engagement. This group is an initiative of the UNESCO Chair in Community Based Research and Social Responsibility in Higher Education in partnership with the following partners. These statements are owned by all who find them useful in advancing their work.

Partners in this 2015 Big Tent initiative are:

  • Asia Pacific University Community Engagement Network (APUCEN)
  • Asia Engage
  • Centro Boliviano de Estudios Multidisciplinario (CEBEM)
  • Centro Latinoamericano de Aprendizaje y Servicio Solidario (CLAYSS)
  • Community-based Research Canada (CBRC)
  • Community Campus Partnership for Health (CCPH)
  • East African Community University Community University Engagement Network
  • Global Alliance for Community Engaged Research (GACER)
  • Global Universities Network for Innovation (GUNi)
  • International Association of Universities (IAU)
  • Living Knowledge Network (LKN)
  • National Coordinating Centre for Public Engagement in Higher Education (NCCPE)
  • Participatory Research in Asia (PRIA)
  • PASCAL International Observatory (PASCAL)
  • Service Learning Asia Network (SLAN)
  • The Talloires Network (TN)
  • UNESCO Chair for Community-based Research and Social Responsibility in Higher Education





  • UNESCO. United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
  • The Catalan Association of Public Universities (ACUP)

Sponsored by

  • Generalitat de Catalunya. Ministry of Business and Employment. Department of Research and Universities
  • Generalitat de Catalunya. Ministry for Foreign Action and Open Government