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2022 Global Forum on Higher Education Leadership for Democracy, Sustainability and Social Justice

The 2022 Global Forum "Higher Education Leadership for Democracy, Sustainability and Social Justice" organised by the Council of Europe in co-operation with the International Association of Universities, International Consortium for Higher Education, Civic Responsibility and Democracy, Organisation of American States opened in Dublin today on the premises of the Dublin City University. The Forum gathered over 120 participants from all continents.


In his opening statement, Matjaž Gruden, Director for Democratic Participation of the Council of Europe, stated that ‘"knowledge and critical thinking are the driving force of progressive change. Always had been. Always will be. This is why higher education is an essential part of democratic infrastructure. One of the cornerstones of a society based on the values of humanity, knowledge, openness, curiosity, innovation, respect for individual rights and freedoms and human dignity and sense of responsibility for community and solidarity for other people. And this is why authoritarians fear and loath its independence and autonomy".


Simon Harris, the Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, said in his keynote speech: "Democracy is complex. It asks us to work towards the common good and be selfless in promoting the rights of others. If democracy is to survive and thrive in the decades ahead, our young people must understand what makes this effort so essential. Civic education – at all levels- is key for that. That’s why Ireland has made the promotion of participatory democracy and youth engagement one of the three priorities of our Council of Europe Presidency".


Over two days the Forum participants will discuss different ways in which universities can develop, maintain and sustain democracy on campus, in the community, and the wider society. This Forum is organised in the framework of the Council of Europe project "Democratic and Local mission of Higher Education".

Dublin, Ireland 16 June 2022
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