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UNESCO World Conference: "Higher Education as a Public Good"

10 July 2009

After long behind-the-scenes political skirmishes, 150 governments attending the UNESCO World Conference on Higher Education in Paris this week unanimously adopted a communiqué acknowledging higher education as a 'public good' and calling on countries not to disinvest in the sector during the global economic crisis, reports University World News.

But that is not a mere plea for funding: Academia must consolidate its social responsibility role, the round table on higher education and social responsibility brings in. Pierre Sané, UNESCO Assistant-Director General for Social and Human Sciences, urges the universities to "Speak truth to power" - something that we have often heard about art. And when UNDP representative Ramu Damodaran speaks of the potential of the academic community to become a "fourth UN after govenments, the secretariats and NGOs", that is something that Higher Arts Education may take to heart when determining its place within that community.

http://www.unesco.org/en/wche2009


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