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Knowledge Democracy and Social Responsibility in Higher Education: A Webinar and Book Launch

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Date(s) - 30/09/2021
7:30 pm

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Talloires Network Steering Committee member Dr. Rajesh Tandon, Founder of Society for Participatory Research in Asia (India) and his UNESCO Co-Chair in Community Based Research and Social Responsibility in Higher Education, Dr. Budd Hall (University of Victoria) and a panel of authors were in a conversation about knowledge democracy and higher education based on their new free and open access book Socially Responsible Higher Education.

Dr. Tandon spoke about preparing the next gen professionals and how higher education can do so by becoming socially responsible. This entails recognizing the diverse forms of knowledge systems and the need to produce locally contextual actionable knowledge. Additionally for socially inclusive and diverse higher education systems to be created, learner’s different socio-economic backgrounds and related identity challenges, their cultures, traditions and knowledges need to be recognised and respected by HEIs.

Tom Olijhoek spoke of marginalization of systems of knowledge production and dissemination, and linked it to the rankings matrix. He emphasised that there has to be more accreditation for locally produced research on locally relevant issues. John Saltmarsh added that discrediting the local also has to do with a “prestige culture” and spoke of power dynamics with regard to knowledge systems.

Dr. Budd Hall, our Co-Chair closed the session by discussing how HEIs are medieval institutions which survived because they have hard disciplinary structures & are difficult to change from within. The power to change will therefore come from engagement with community.

Find Dr. Tandon’s ppt here.

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