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The potential of Higher Education for the Common Good, University of Sassari

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Date(s) - 13/12/2021
12:00 am

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Peter J. Wells began the discussion by stating that HEIs play a key role for problem solving, knowledge production and finding solutions. Speaking of WHEC, all stakeholders need to be involved in the process of consultation. We are at a turning point, where HEIs need to strengthen their research capacities, their development partnerships and realise their responsibility towards SDGs. We need a collaborative approach to establish a new social contract that leaves no one behind. The question is- are HEIs really open to the principles, values of lifelong learning, and what mechanisms are in place for implementing these principles?

Dr. HilligJe van’t Land, IAU Secretary General, shared the key IAU principles: Equitable access and how its related to quality of HE and quality of society, a well-educated citizenry and success strategy is equally important. Rule of law and democracy are foundational for a responsive HE.

Dr. Tandon spoke of the Knowledge for Change Consortium, how it fosters locally defined indicators of sustainability, frame locally actionable research questions, adapt methods that engage variety of stake-holders, and nurture trusting relationships with partners.

He then described the objectives and functioning of the K4C, which entails the following features:

  • Unique model for decentralised training for building participatory research capacity through local knowledge partnerships
  • Train new generation of community workers and students in the theory and practice of CBPR
  • Training of mentors includes undertaking field research on local SDGs/climate
  • Locally co-produced solutions for local problems
  • Create network on knowledge democracy, justice and equity as contribution to local, national and global challenges such as UN SDGs.

He finally shared three lessons from the K4C Consortium, the first being that knowledge partnerships mobilise knowledge, skills and assets of both universities and communities; second that multi-stakeholder approach to knowledge production & dissemination generates local ownership for solutions, and third being that engagement of HEIs and community partners act as local catalysts that strengthen local action and funding opportunities. He also give examples of how different K4C hubs have tried achieving SDGs through different forms of CBPR methodologies and community engagement tools in their local regions with their local communities.

Dr. Tandon’s ppt Click here

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