The engaged university. Linking the global and the local

Between 17th and 18th of October, one of this year's most exciting higher education conferences, The engaged university. Linking the global and the local, co-organized by ACA and CMEPIUS, took place in Bled, Slovenia, drawing an audience of 150 – 200.

The event also included central actors and decision-makers from universities and colleges, as well as practitioners and policy-makers from government departments, international institutions, non-governmental organizations and think tanks.

One of the speakers was also Emilija Stojmenova Duh, assistant Professor and FabLab Network Slovenia Coordinator from Faculty of Electrical Engineering of the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia, presenting her research work on Smart digital transformation of villages in the Alpine Space, Interreg Erudite, Digital Regions, Interreg CARPEDIGEM, Liverur projects and FabLab Slovenia network.

The conference reached out to other countries and continents but it was also – and even more so – an event which was actively engaged with its closer vicinity, its local and regional 'habitat'.

The "engaged university" interacted and collaborated with civil society at large, municipalities, companies, NGOs, and many other actors. Next to internationalization, the themes of the event were social responsibility; civic engagement, active citizenship and 'service learning'; innovation and knowledge and technology transfer; diversity and inclusion, as well as ethics and values.

Following the concept of the “engaged university”, the conference was not just about the classical tasks of the university, i.e. teaching/learning and research, but more so still, it was about what some call the ‘third mission’ of higher education: outreach and service to and collaboration with non-academic actors.

The event provided participants with the possibility to share ideas on and discuss how these dimensions could be enhanced by means of European and international project cooperation.

On top of internationalization, the themes that were dealt with in Bled were:

  • Social responsibility
  • Civic engagement, active citizenship and ‘service learning’
  • Innovation and knowledge transfer
  • Diversity and inclusion
  • Ethics and values

Learn more about the event here.