From 14 to 16 June, leaders and delegates from universities, public authorities and civil society organisations from across the world met in Rome to discuss and debate the role of higher education institutions in promoting diversity, social inclusion and community.
The meeting took place under the auspices of the Council of Europe and the International Consortium for Higher Education, Civic Responsibility and Democracy. ACU co-sponsored the event and was also responsible for organizing the pre-conference workshop, which focused specifically on the issue of refugees.
The pre-conference workshop was designed to highlight the responsibility of social institutions such as universities to respect and uphold the human rights of refugees, including their right to education. At the pre-conference workshop, refugees from Afghanistan, Syria, Eritrea and the Ukraine, who are now part of the San Egidio community in Rome, shared their stories of hardship and hope with workshop participants.
The ideas and understandings generated in the workshop became a point of reference for debates that took place during the main Conference. The main Conference concluded by affirming that higher education was a moral and political enterprise, and that the actors who engaged in it must be guided by principles of equality, fairness, truth and the quest for a better world.