Work programme of the Bologna Follow-Up Group 2007-2009
The Role of the University in Bridging Civilizations
20th International Conference on Higher Education (ICHE) - The Role of the University in Bridging Civilizations. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 22-24 August 2008.
Respect, mutual understanding and co-operation are the cornerstone of multi-ethnic nations and the fundamental values of the university. They guarantee the free exchange of opinions and promote the cultural enrichment of students and academics by interactions with other civilisations. Universities in nearly all countries of the world are among the first social institutions to practice global integration. In a time of a supposed “clash of civilizations”, universities can serve to transform this presumed conflictual paradigm into an “appreciation of civilizations” both on the national and global platforms.
In August 2008 the 20th International Conference on Higher Education (ICHE) will take place in Bangi, Selangor, Malaysia, hosted by Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), the (UKM), the National University of Malaysia.
ICHE and UKM jointly invite university leaders and administrators from all parts of the planet, representing different civilisations and modes of social organisation, to reflect on how to govern institutions of higher education in order to achieve a respectful approach by mankind to each other and the environment - thus addressing the civilization of the future.
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia was created around the idea of symbolising the values and uniqueness of Malaysia, a nation that continually engages with multi-cultural diversity in an Islamic framework. UKM constantly strives to function as a bridge between cultures that express various collective identities.
In August 2008, this conference will address the role of the universities in shaping an integrated world community as they prepare their students for 'global leadership,' 'a wise society' and 'responsibility for ecological survival,' three intertwined dimensions of the academic contribution to a sustainable future.