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A key higher education conference will take place this year in Bled, Slovenia. The engaged university, organised by ACA and its Slovenian member CMEPIUS, will be held in Bled from 16 to 18 October 2019.
What is the “engaged university” that this conference is about? It is one which reaches out to other countries and continents, i.e. an “international(ised)” one. But it is also - and even more so - one which actively engages with its closer vicinity, its local and regional ‘habitat’. The “engaged university” interacts and collaborates with civil society at large, municipalities, companies, NGOs, and many other local and regional actors. Some would call it a university which pursues the ‘third mission’ of higher education. We can also put it differently. Next to internationalisation, the themes of this event are social responsibility; civic engagement, active citizenship and ‘service learning’; innovation and knowledge and technology transfer; diversity and inclusion, as well as ethics and values.
This is going to be a hands-on conference, mostly concentrating on concrete projects, studies or initiatives at the international, national and local level. One part of the programme - consisting of parallel sessions - will be devoted to jointly discussing and devising possible new ‘engagement-related projects’ of universities and other actors in different European countries. A call for project ideas to be discussed and further developed in Bled has just been launched amongst those who have already registered for the conference.
The engaged university features many outstanding speakers. Two of the are the present Minister of Education of Slovenia, Professor Jernej Pikalo and one of his predecessors, Professor Pavel Zgaga, who signed the Bologna Declaration in the late 1990s. Likewise, we are proud to present stars like Ulrich Grothus, the ACA President, Kees Kouwenaar of the Aurora Network, Josep M. Vilalta, the Secretary General of the Catalan Association of Public Universities and the Director of GUNI in Barcelona and Jan Kluge of Austria’s renowned IHS (Institute of Advanced Studies, Vienna). Most proud, however, we are about the many very strong women whom the conference features, for example Sybille Reichert (Bamberg/Berlin), Jeanine Gregersen-Hermans, Lorraine McIIrath (Galway), Pilar Aramburuzabala (Madrid), or Emilija Stojmenova (Ljubljana).
Do you need more reasons to join us in Bled? I will just mention one, Bled. Bled is this planet’s most wonderful village. A breath-taking and yet easily accessible beauty, right next to Ljubljana Airport and famous for its lovely Indian summer.
Treat yourself and register now.