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Knowledge Democracy and Diverse Epistemologies

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Date(s) - 19/07/2021
12:00 pm - 1:30 pm

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The COVID-19 pandemic, the climate crisis, the calls for decolonisation, the persistence of gender violence, the rise of authoritarian nationalism, and the challenge of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals have taken on new urgency and given rise to larger questions about the social relevance of higher education.

In this new chapter for humanity, higher education institutions can play a vital role in a great transition or civilisational shift to a newly imagined world. Central to the new discourse on social responsibility of HEIs is the recognition, appreciation and valuing of diversity of knowledges, their underlying epistemologies (ways of knowing) and knowledge cultures (norms, values, principles).

Given this context, this webinar is inspired by the book “Socially Responsible Higher Education: International Perspectives on Knowledge Democracy”, co-edited by the UNESCO Co-Chairs Dr. Budd Hall and Dr. Rajesh Tandon. The webinar will address the transformative role that higher education can play in integrating and co-producing multiple forms of knowledge through respect for diverse epistemologies.

Speakers for the event

Prof. Emeritus Tan Sri Dato’ Dzulkifli Abdul Razak, currently the Rector of the International Islamic University Malaysia and Immediate past president of the International Association of Universities (IAU).

Dr. Rajesh Tandon, Co-Editor of book; Founder-President, PRIA & Co-Chair, UNESCO Chair in  Community Based Research and Social Responsibility in Higher Education

Ms. Kanya Padayachee, Ph.D Candidate engaged in Community Based Participatory Research in Early Childhood Development (ECD) at Durban University of Technology, South Africa; Mentor at DUT Hub of UNESCO Knowledge for Change Consortium.

Dr. Muzaimi Mustapha, Associate Professor in Medical Neuroscience at the Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), School of Medical Sciences, USM Health Campus, Kelantan; Mentor at USM Hub of UNESCO Knowledge For Change (K4C) Consortium.

Dr. Sarita Anand, Assistant Professor, Department of Education, Visva-Bharati Santiniketan.

Dr. Ana Persic, acting Chief of Science Policy and Partnerships Section at the Division of Science Policy and Capacity Building at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris since 2018.

Find event report here.

Find event recording here.


Find Dr. Tandon’s Powerpoint presentation here.

About the book

This book shares the experiences of a broadly representative and globally dispersed set of writers on higher education and social responsibility, broadening perspectives on the democratisation of knowledge. The book is open access, the free download of the book is available on the following link:


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