Roles and Responsibility of the University in Shaping Future Societies
The future of the higher education sector in general and higher education institutions in particular (henceforth HE and HEI for higher education institutions respectively) is both troubling and uncertain. At the moment, it seems that there are several social, political, economic and technological trends which really test the sector’s and the institutions’ adaptive capacities.
A large part of the academic discourse is concerned with these changes and challenges which all lead back to a core question, namely, what the future roles and responsibilities of higher education institutions in society can be. While many studies deal with how HEI can adapt to future trends, less attention is given of what roles these institutions can play in creating more democratic, socially and environmentally responsible societies. Therefore in this session, we wish to explore what kind of roles universities can play in shaping society. Some questions this session might address:
- How can HE affect future trends?
- What roles new ways of learning and teaching play in shaping society?
- Are there alternative ways, based on different cultural or institutional traditions, and/or opened up by new technological innovations etc., of organising the functions of HE in the future?
Questions of responsibility, critical and dialogical thinking and intellectual humility in the era of "post-truth" could be addressed as well.