Information Box Group
Dr. Sigal Ben-Porath
Sigal Ben-Porath received her doctorate in political philosophy from Tel-Aviv university in 2000, after which she joined Princeton University’s Center for Human Values as a post-doctoral fellow. In 2004 she moved to the University of Pennsylvania where she is currently a professor of education, philosophy and political science. Her areas of research include democratic theory, education policy at the K-12 and higher education levels, and ethics. She recently published the books Free Speech on Campus (Penn Press, 2017) as well as Making Up Our Mind (with Michael Johanek, University of Chicago Press, 2019). Her previous books include Citizenship under Fire: Democratic Education in Times of Conflict(2006) and Tough Choices (2010), both from Princeton University Press. She serves on the board of the Mitchell Center for the Study of Democracy, as well as the Teachers Institute of Philadelphia. She has been chairing Penn’s Committee on Open Expression since 2015. In the last few years she has offered guidance to many campuses on policy development and responses to controversies surrounding speech.
Dr. Agneta Bladh
Dr Bladh is an independent consultant and involved in evaluations and other engagements in the field of higher education and research. Dr Bladh was Rector of University of Kalmar (now part of Linnaeus University), Sweden, between February 2004 and December 2009. From 1998 to 2004, Dr Bladh served as State Secretary at the Swedish Ministry of Education and Science, responsible for Higher Education and Research. In this role, she was one of the signatories of the Bologna Declaration. From 1995 to 1998, Dr Bladh was Director General at the National Agency for Higher Education. Bladh served 1987-91 as well as 1993-95 in various positions in the Swedish national administration. Bladh served 2011 temporarily as Dean and CEO for Jönköping International Business School (JIBS) and the autumn 2013 as Dean and CEO at Jönköping School of Education and Communication, both part of Jönköping University.
During 2017-2018, Dr Bladh is appointed by the Swedish government as special examiner of Internationalisation at Swedish Higher Education Institutions. Dr Bladh is member of the Board of the Swedish Research Council (chair), the Magna Charta Observatory Council (vice president) and the Swedish Carnegie Foundation. Dr Bladh has been member of the governing boards of several universities in Sweden and Norway and commissions and evaluations in several European countries. Dr Bladh has also been chairperson of the organisation VA (Public & Science – acronym for Vetenskap & Allmänhet) to advance and encourage dialogue between researchers and the public.
Bladh has been a member of the Swedish Higher Education Authority Board and the Danish Accreditation Council. Dr Bladh was 2012-2014 a member of the EU High Level Group on Modernisation of Higher Education. During 2008-2012 Bladh was member of the Administrative Board of the International Association of Universities, IAU.
Bladh holds a PhD in Political Science from Stockholm University (1988).
Her mandate as Council member started on June 14th,2013 and her first mandate will expire the 13th June, 2021.
Dr. Jim Dunn
Department chair and urban geographer James Dunn likes to bend studies around natural experiments. He studies living communities as they undergo transformations, and explores how built environments affect the mental and physical health in neighbourhoods and communities.
Early in his career, he helped reveal how neighbourhoods that naturally evolve toward greater socioeconomic and cultural diversity produce better health outcomes among those who live there. More recently, though, his focus has turned to the question of whether this kind of healthy mixed neighbourhood can be engineered – or at least fostered – through public policy.
Some connections are obvious – parks, pedestrian friendly streets and accessible transit can all promote healthy activity, reducing prevalence of diabetes, obesity and other conditions. Some connections are more subtle: For more than a decade, Dunn has been studying Toronto’s Regent Park, the largest urban redevelopment project in Canadian history. He has found clear evidence that people who are more satisfied with their housing and neighbourhood, and who feel safer and more secure, also enjoy improvements to their overall health.
Dunn partners with many community organizations and government departments in Hamilton, Toronto and elsewhere. Such partnerships help Dunn design his research projects to answer the right questions, and also ensure that the insights coming from his work end up where they can have the greatest impact.
Mr. David Lock
David Lock has had a varied career in international higher education and university leadership.
As Director of International Projects at the UK’s Leadership Foundation for Higher Education, David was responsible for instigating and delivering projects with over 30 different countries, some at Governmental level. Projects have included major programmes for Rectors and Ministry Officials to implement national HE reform and autonomy strategies over several years and building partnerships between universities in different countries.
Until October 2007 David was the founding Registrar and Acting Chief Executive of the British University in Dubai where he structured, built and then led the University following its legal creation by the Ruler of Dubai as a not-for-profit provider of Higher Education to UK standards.
Prior to going to Dubai David was Secretary to the University of Huddersfield and Registrar and Secretary to the University of Hull in the UK for a total of 14 years. A teacher and Chartered Secretary by background, David has served on a number of international bodies and undertaken a range of consultancy assignments including international development and UK HE governance projects. He is Chairman of the Gulf Education Conference and serves on the International Advisory Committee of the British Council.
He has been appointed Secretary General of the Magna Charta Observatory in September 2014.
Prof. Thierry Luescher
Prof. Thierry Luescher is Research Director in the education and skills development research programme of the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) of South Africa. The HSRC is Africa’s largest research and policy think-tank in the social sciences and humanities. In addition to his primary association, Thierry is affiliated with the University of the Free State as associate professor in higher education studies, where he previously worked as assistant director for institutional research. Prior to that, he was a senior lecturer in higher education studies and extra-ordinary senior lecturer in political studies at the University of the Western Cape. Thierry was a student leader at the University of Cape Town (SRC Vice-President). He completed his Bachelor studies and Ph.D. at UCT. Thierry has studied student politics and higher education in Africa as part of a number of research groups including the Higher Education Research and Advocacy Network in Africa (HERANA), African Minds, and the Mellon Project ‘The New South African Student Movement: From #RhodesMustFall to #FeesMustFall’. He is on the editorial board of a number of journals, including Journal of College Student Development, Makerere Journal of Higher Education, and the book series African Higher Education Dynamics. His recent publications include the book Student Politics in Africa: Representation and Activism (2016, edited with M Klemen and J Otieno Jowi) and Reflections of South African Student Leaders, 1994-2017 (2019, with D Webbstock and N Bhengu).
Dr. Sijbolt Noorda
Dr Sijbolt Noorda is president emeritus of the University of Amsterdam, past president of the Association of Dutch Research Universities and a former board member of the European University Association.
Presently he chairs the board of Codarts (Rotterdam University of the Arts), as well as the board of International Baccalaureate, the board of Muziekgebouw aan het IJ (Contemporary Music Hall, Amsterdam) and the board of De Groene Amsterdammer (independent weekly). Furthermore he is a member of the International Advisory Board of Amsterdam University College, Universität Tübingen, the Berlin Universities, the Slovak Academy of Sciences and ITMO University, St Petersburg. He is editor-in-chief of the Dutch-Flemish Journal for Higher Education Th&ma. He lectures and writes on higher education issues and regularly reviews Higher Education Institutions in the European Higher Education Area.
He has served on various executive and non-executive boards in the domains of Higher Education & Research, Public Radio & Television, Performing Arts & Moving Image, Health Service, High Performance Computing, Not-for-profit Publishing and Social Services.
His academic field is cultural history of religions in Europe. He holds degrees from Free University Amsterdam, Utrecht University and Union Seminary/Columbia University, NYC.
His mandate as Council member started on June 14th,2013 and his second mandate will expire in 2021.
Dr. Nandini Ramanujam
Associate Professor Nandini Ramanujam is the Executive Director and Director of Programs of the Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralismat McGill University’s Faculty of Law. She also directs the International Human Rights Internship Program as well as Independent Human Rights Internships Program. She is the McGill representative for the Scholars at Risk Network and is a member of the Steering Committee of the Scholars at Risk Network, Canada section..
Nandini Ramanujam’s research and teaching interests include Law and Development, Institutions and Governance, Economic Justice, Food Security and Food Safety, the role of civil society and the Fourth Estate (Media) in promotion of the rule of law, as well as the exploration of interconnections between field based human rights work and theoretical discourses.
Before joining the McGill Faculty of Law, Dr Ramanujam was involved in the successful systemic reform of higher education in the former communist countries of Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union, including Aga Khan’s Central Asian University and Smolny College in St. Petersburg. She has sat as Director of the Higher Education Support Program of the Open Society Institute in Budapest and Regional Director of Baltic and Eurasian Programs of Civic Education Project. She also has extensive experience in human rights issues, strategic planning, governance and programming, with a particular focus on education and civil society. She has been involved in the development of strategic planning for human rights institutions such as the Cambodian Centre for Human Rights and the Open Society Institute’s Disability and Law Network. She served on the Board of Directors of the Canadian Human Rights Foundation (Equitas) from 2001-2008, and was President of Board between 2003-2008. She is a member of the Board of Directors of Centraide of greater Montreal.
Nandini Ramanujam received her Doctorate in Economics from Oxford University for her dissertation on Price Mechanism in Russia: Its role in the Old Planning and the New Markets. She holds a M.Phil and a M.A. in Economics with 1st class honours from Bhopal University.
Quinn Runkle is the Director of Education for SOS-UK (Students Organising for Sustainability), the sustainability charity of the UK National Union of Students. She leads SOS’ work on educational reform, focusing on transforming further and higher education into a force for good in creating a more just and sustainable world.
Quinn joined NUS in 2014 and previously has a background in student and staff behaviour change, engagement, and education for sustainable development programmes at the University of Bristol (UK) and the University of British Columbia (Canada).
Quinn holds a Bachelor of Arts in Geography and Political Science with a specialism in Environment and Sustainability from the University of British Columbia. She is currently pursuing a Doctorate in Education at the UCL Institute of Education. In 2017, she was named the “Top 30 Under 30 Environmental Educators” by the North American Association for Environmental Education.
Mary Tupan-Wenno is the executive director of ECHO, Center for Diversity Policy in The Hague, the Netherlands. Her professional involvement on diversity and inclusion developments in higher education started at the Dutch Ministry of Education Culture and Science. Mary has more than 25 years of experience with policy and program development to improve access and success of underrepresented groups in higher education, with a specific focus on ethnic diversity. Mary is a founding member of the European Access Network (1991) and of GAPS, Global Access to Postsecondary Education initiative (2016) and a member of the Board of both EAN and GAPS. ECHO is a non-profit organization focusing on the development of new strategies, policy and practice to improve diversity and inclusion in higher education and the labor market. ECHO collaborates with schools, universities, businesses, governments, student- and community organizations.
Prof. Francesco Ubertini
Originally from Perugia, where he was born on 6 February 1970. After completing scientific high school studies in Perugia, he moved to Bologna to study at the University, graduating with full marks in Civil Engineering.
After a PhD in Mechanics of Structures at the University of Bologna, a post-doc study grant and a research fellowship, he became university researcher in Construction Sciences at the then-Faculty of Engineering and, from 2001 to 2007, associate professor. In 2007 he became a full professor of Mechanics of Solids and Structures at the University of Bologna.
From 2007 to 2010 he held the position of Head of the Department of Structural Engineering, Transport, Public Works, and Surveying of the Territory (DISTART) at the University of Bologna. During this period the DISTART was regrouped twice and then joined what is now the DICAM.
From 2010 to 2015 he was Head of the Department of Civil, Chemical, Environmental and Materials Engineering (DICAM) and a member of the Academic Senate of the University of Bologna, as representative of the Heads of the Technological Area, and a member of the Research Group and the Internationalisation Group (2012-2015).
Prof. Francesco Ubertini was also a member of the Technical Committee on Computational Solid and Structural Mechanics, European Community on Computational Methods in Applied Sciences and coordinator of the Italian Group of Computational Mechanics (GIMC) and the Italian Association of Theoretical and Applied Mechatronics (AIMETA).
He is a member of the Academy of Sciences of the Institute of Bologna and member of the Academic board of the PhD degree programme (third cycle programme) in civil, chemical, environmental and materials engineering and tutor of the University of Bologna’s Collegio Superiore.
He coordinates an extensive research group which is very active on the international scene, and has participated in different roles, in numerous national and European research projects. He has also presided and participated in organisational and scientific committees of various national and international congresses. He been invited to speak at national and international conferences, is a member of editorial committees of various international magazines, he is also an expert reviser for the MIUR (Italian Ministry of Education, University and Research), national agencies of other countries and for the European Commission as well as for the most important international magazines of the sector.
He is the author of over 70 publications in international magazines and over 200 publications in acts of national and international conferences.
His mandate as Council member started on March 4th,2016 and his first mandate will expire the 3rd March, 2020.
Information Box Group
Wednesday, October 16, 2019 - Conference
8:30 – 9:30
9:30 – 9:55
09:30 – 09:35
David Farrar, Interim President, McMaster University
Report on the Magna Charta Observatory
9:35 – 9:45
David Lock, Secretary General of the Magna Charta Observatory
Introduction to the Conference
9:45 – 9:5
Sijbolt Noorda, President, Magna Charta Observatory, Italy
Keynote Address – Free Speech on Campus: A Way Forward
9:55 – 10:25
Free speech, a staple of modern democracy, has become the focal point for political and cultural forces impacting college campuses. Universities are charged with the mandate to expand the boundaries of knowledge; to disseminate knowledge through teaching and other modes; and to serve the public by training citizens and leaders. But, should all speech be protected in the name of free inquiry at the university? Recent speech controversies on college campuses around the globe expose the difficulty in carving a response in this polarized time. Partly these controversies are another demonstration of the pressures created by movements that test the limits of democratic tolerance, and partly they are the result of changes in youth and campus culture. Recognizing that the struggle over the boundaries of speech on campus is a struggle over core democratic values, and designing a response anchored in the mission of the university, can help alleviate these tensions by creating guidelines that align with the unique role and work of higher education institutions. A democratic framework of inclusive freedom reflects the values of the university in protecting free thought, inquiry and expression, and maintaining a commitment to the dignity of all campus members. This framework can guide university leadership through turbulent times by being responsive to the unique circumstances of contemporary college campuses while remaining committed to the university’s long-standing values.
Keynote Address – Sustainable Cities and Communities
10:25 – 11:05
Jim Dunn, Senator William McMaster Professor in Urban Health Equity, Department Chair of the Department of Health, Aging and Society and Director of McMaster Institute for Healthier Environments
The role and importance of universities in achieving sustainable cities and communities globally is as great as it has ever been and growing. At one time, the role of the university may have been easily compartmentalized simply as an institution of higher learning and research, whose impacts on cities and communities was limited to the education of students and the dissemination of research to improve the social, economic and environmental performance of cities. In recent decades, however, the role of the university in cities and communities has transformed the ‘town and gown’ relationship. Universities now face the challenges and opportunities that come with their responsibilities as land holders, landlords and property developers, as employers and local economic drivers, as civic leaders and community mobilization catalysts, and as environmental stewards. In this presentation, I will explore these challenges and some of the current conditions that make these responsibilities are challenging to discharge. Financialization of land and housing; the increasing importance and sometimes dominance of universities in the local economy, increasing expectations of public accountability alongside declining public funding, and the acute urgency of environmental risks all present significant challenges for the future of the social contract between universities and cities and communities – both locally and globally.
11:05 – 11:30
There will be three parallel sessions, each lasting 90 minutes, during which, for each time slot, there will be a choice from three/four parallel workshops.
Workshop Session 1 – 11:30
Workshop 1.1 – Students and Sustainability
Facilitator: Quinn Runkle, Director of Education, Students Organising for Sustainability (SOS-UK), United Kingdom
Recent research shows that 91% of students say they are concerned about climate change, more than ever before. What can universities do to respond to the demand from students to see action on sustainability?
This session will share examples of student-led initiatives, supported by UK universities and students’ unions. It will unpick the key success factors for supporting student learning and leadership for sustainability and share learning through case studies, stories, and evidence.
Participants will discuss the challenges and opportunities facing their own institutions when engaging students in sustainability, and work together to find meaningful solutions.
Students Organising for Sustainability believe higher education has a responsibility to ensure their graduates have the knowledge, skills and attributes to create a more just and sustainable world for all. This session will explore how we can meet this challenge and respond to the mounting demand from students to see sustainability embedded in their university experiences.
Workshop 1.2 – Bologna Process Beyond 2020: Fundamental Values of the EHEA Report and Future Development
Facilitator: Agneta Bladh, Vice-President, Magna Charta Observatory
The aim of the workshop is to focus on the role of fundamental values and principles in the European Higher Education Area with parallel reflections from other HE systems.
The workshop consists of three introductory elements, which will be linked to each other: (i) a short introduction to the Bologna process and its connection to the Magna Charta Universitatum by the facilitator, (ii) reflections from a task force charged by the Bologna Follow-Up Group with preparing a process to better monitor the actual realities of values and principles in the EHEA countries by Monika Steinel, EUA and (iii) reflections on how the new Magna Charta Universitatum 2020 can influence the EHEA and other HE systems by Dr Sijbolt Noorda, president of Magna Charta Observatory Council.
The discussion is supposed to focus on possible future developments in higher education in Europe and around the world concerning fundamental values and will be relevant for European participants as well as those from other continents. What could and should be done to corroborate the values and ethics agenda?
The result from the workshop can be a message from the academic sphere to the EHEA Ministerial Conference in Rome 2020. The earlier ministerial conference in Paris 2018, among other things, stated that “Academic freedom and integrity, institutional autonomy, participation of students and staff in higher education governance, and public responsibility for and of higher education form the backbone of the EHEA. Having seen these fundamental values challenged in recent years in some of our countries, we strongly commit to promoting and protecting them in the entire EHEA through intensified political dialogue and cooperation.” The Rome Conference also includes a Global Policy Forum – an opportunity to pursue a dialogue between EHEA and non-EHEA countries.
Workshop 1.3 – (SAR) Erosion of Academic Freedom Globally: Opportunities and Challenges for Canadian Universities
Facilitators: Nandini Ramanujam, Associate Professor, Faculty of Law, McGill University, Canada
The proposed roundtable session invites SAR Canada members to critically reflect on rapid erosion of academic freedom in the global context. Participants are invited to discuss the opportunities and challenges for Canadian universities in working towards the realization of UN SDGs, particularly our engagement with goal 16.
The discussion is expected to revolve around the following questions:
- Freedom of expression is often considered as a necessity for the common good of society. How is this manifested in the academic realm or within the campus setting?
- What are the limits of freedom of expression?
- Are there other rights that may potentially clash with the freedom of expression?
- When are such limits justified?
- How are these limits administered within an academic setting?
- Does technology play a role within this context?
Workshop Session 2 – 14:00
Workshop 2.1 – Sustainable Development
Facilitator: Jim Dunn, Professor, McMaster University, Canada
Workshop 2.2 – The MCO’s Living Values Project
Facilitator: David Lock, Secretary General of the Magna Charta Observatory
Workshop 2.3 – The Role of Representative Student Associations, Current Challenges and Strategies in Response
Facilitator: Thierry Luescher, Research Director Higher Education, Human Sciences Research Council, Cape Town
This workshop seeks to explore, and share experiences of, the challenges that representative student associations (such as student unions, student guilds, and student representative councils) experience to their role and how they respond to such challenges. We will explore questions related to (1) the different roles of representative student associations, (2) the effectiveness of student interest representation in formal decision-making structures and processes, (3) informal interactions with university authorities and stakeholders, and (4) the experience, effectiveness and impact of student protest action. We will consider these topics in relation to (a) the question of students’ rights and responsibilities in the context of the rights and responsibilities of other academic stakeholders and the public; and (b) the diversity of institutional and national student bodies and thus the challenge of aggregating ‘the’ student voice.
We will start the workshop with a round of introductions and then discuss and agree on the scope, focus and methodology of the workshop. We will then explore the set of agreed-upon questions collectively in smaller groups. It is envisaged that we will collate the feedbacks of each group into a set of ‘experiences’, ‘findings’ and ‘recommendations’ to bring back to the plenary.
Workshop Session 3 – 16:00
Workshop 3.1 – (IAU) Value-Based Leadership for Engaging with the SDGs
Facilitator: Pam Fredman, President, International University Association, IAU
Workshop 3.2 – MCU 2020: Progress and Prospects
Facilitator: Sijbolt Noorda, President, Magna Charta Observatory
Workshop 3.3 – Equity and Access
Facilitators: Graeme Atherton, Director, National Education Opportunities Network NEON Mary Turpan- Wenno, Executive Director, ECHO, Center for Diversity Policy, The Netherlands
In a time of increasing diversity in education, disparities in academic performance and growing gaps in employment between groups of students become more prevalent. New policies and programs to enhance an inclusive learning environment are developed to close these gaps. The challenge for institutions remains to create an inclusive educational environment that holistically responds to the diversity of life journeys, academic motivation and the perseverance of all students. Identifying and capitalizing the intrinsic motivation of the diversity of students requires more than just believing in the talent and aspirations of students. Addressing diversity and inclusion means being aware of different perspectives, experiences and social identities and validating them positively and equally. Mary Tupan-Wenno has been involved in national, European and global developments on diversity and inclusion in (higher) education and will share her experiences in working with institutions in and outside of the Netherlands.
End of Conference
Wednesday, October 16, 2019 - Gala Dinner
18:30 – 19:30
19:30 – 21:30
Shuttle buses will pick you up from the David Braley Health Sciences Centre parking lot at 18:15 and 18:30 to bring you to the Gala Dinner. The shuttles will return you to your hotels at the end of the evening.
Thursday, October 17, 2019 - Signing Ceremony
All new and past signatories are asked to wear academic dress.
Shuttle buses will pick you up from the David Braley Health Sciences Centre parking lot at 9:00 to bring you to the Signing Ceremony. The shuttles will return you to your hotels at the end of the luncheon.
9:45 – 10:15
10:15 – 10:30
David Farrar, Interim President, McMaster University
10:30 – 11:00
Signature of the Magna Charta Universitatum
11:00 – 12:00
Signatories will receive a copy of the book of the Magna Charta Universitatum
Words of Thanks
12:00 – 12:10
Rite of Passage
University of Bologna to host the Conference in 2020
12:35 – 12:45
Francesco Ubertini, Rector, University of Bologna, Italy
Thursday, October 17, 2019 - Closing Luncheon
13:00 – 14:30
Shuttle buses will pick you up from the David Braley Health Sciences Centre parking lot at 9:00 to bring you to the Signing Ceremony. The shuttles will return you to your hotels at the end of the luncheon.