Symposium 'The public role of universities in the face of sustainability challenges'
At the European Conference on Educational Research (ECER) in Copenhagen, members of the scientific research network (FWO-WOG) 'Public Pedagogy and Sustainability Challenges' collaborated on a joint symposium: 'At the intersection of educative and political spaces. The public role of universities in the face of sustainability challenges'. They addressed the key topic of the research network, i.e. the public role of education in the face of sustainability issues, with a focus on university education. The university, after all, is a pre-eminent example of an educative space which is expected to also function as a political space, i.e. to contribute to solving societal, political problems. Both in public discourse and through policy initiatives such as the Copernicus University Charter for Sustainable Development, the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development and UNESCO's Global Action Programme on Education for Sustainable Development universities are called on to 'play a leading role in developing a multidisciplinary and ethically-oriented form of education in order to devise solutions for the problems linked to sustainable development’.
Maarten Deleye presented a paper on 'Sustainable university – world university? Sustainability challenges as matters of public concern in higher education'
Leif Östman talked about 'The political in university education. Curriculum, education goals and teaching practice'
Jeppe Læssøe & Jonas Lysgaard gave a presentation about 'Universities in times of confusion and hope – Does SSH education pose the right questions and deliver useful answers?'
Subsequently, Jan Masschelein critically discussed these three contributions from a philosophy of education perspective.