Universities Must Move beyond the Classroom to Become Agents for Social Change

Cape Times (South Africa), July 18, 2011 | Go to article overview

Universities Must Move beyond the Classroom to Become Agents for Social Change


On the occasion of the 93rd birthday celebrations of one of the most fervent and respected voices for social justice and human rights, this call by Jos[c] Villasante, Director of the Global Division of Santander Universities, at the recent university Leaders Conference in Madrid, sounds like a natural extension of Nelson Mandela's words: "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world."

Leaders of more than 200 universities and philanthropic institutions from 60 countries gathered under the umbrella of the Talloires Network of Tufts University in the US, a global alliance of higher education institutions committed to strengthening the civic roles and social responsibilities of universities and colleges.

The main discussion point was how to build the engaged university - moving away from the ivory tower to become agents of social change.

In the words of one of the delegates: "To change the world is not a question of madness, but one of justice[bar] and universities have a key role to play in inventing futures shaped by social commitment, civic engagement and external responsiveness to the needs of communities."

This is a significant debate, highlighting the imperative that higher education institutions worldwide should rethink their roles in society, given the demands of the socio-economic and political changes that have swept large parts of the globe in recent years.

South Africa recently celebrated its 17th year of democracy amidst a preponderance of civic and educational problems. The Arab Spring is still unfolding in North Africa and the Middle East.

Problems in the Eurozone are on-going, with political and economic strife becoming commonplace. And China, the second-largest economy in the world, is producing jobless university graduates by the thousand. Little wonder, then, that the disgruntled voices of the youth are reverberating across large parts of Europe, Asia and Africa.

All of this should serve as a stark reminder to educational leaders that education can also be a source of social strife. As Reeta Roy, president of the MasterCard Foundation, put it at the conference: "Education without employment creates unrest."

She proposed that universities move beyond the classroom "in an effort to construct an ecosystem that connects higher education institutions, policymakers and industries in a way that will bridge students to the world, and enable them to engage in multiple levels of the economy".

The key is that curricula should be relevant and aligned with the needs of society. Universities are well placed to assist with the challenges of transition.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Universities Must Move beyond the Classroom to Become Agents for Social Change
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.