Conference on Higher Education : Creating vision and standards. Skopje, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. 16-17 March 2011
The International Conference titled “Creating Vision and Standards – the Role of Higher Education in Fostering Intercultural Dialogue and Understanding in a Multiethnic Society” is organized by the UNESCO Venice Office in collaboration with the Ss. Cyril and Methodius University in Skopje (UKIM) Faculty of Philosophy and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe -High Commissioner on National Minorities (OSCE HCNM) in the framework of the UN Joint Programme “Enhancing Inter-ethnic Community Dialogue and Collaboration” with the goal to promote cooperation and understanding and to contribute to freedom and democracy, human dignity and solidarity through teaching and learning, research and service.
At no time in human history was the welfare of nations so closely linked to the quality and outreach of their higher education systems and institutions. (World Conference on Higher Education Partners, June 2003).
Given the diversity of cultural communities which is mirrored in its educational institutions, the country serves as a microcosm for exploring issues of intercultural dialogue and understanding. The conference will bring together higher educational leaders, scholars and students to discuss how higher education today contributes or could contribute to creating a culture of dialogue at the institutional, local, regional and international levels. The Conference will explore and offer a forum for sharing ideas, examples of good practice as well as innovative ways by which higher education can foster dialogue and understanding in the context of diversity in a 21st Century society.
The Conference will address two main topics: Day 1. Exploring the Multifaceted role of Institution of Higher Education (IHE) in a multiethnic society and Day 2. Discussing the content of integrated education – selected challenges.
It aims to initiate debate on the role of higher education in the implementation of this Strategy and fostering inter-cultural dialogue and understanding in the education system and processes of the country. By involving multiple partners from public and private higher-education institutions, with local and international experts, the Conference aims to also improve dialogue and cooperation amongst diverse education stakeholders, identifying common objectives, priorities and challenges for intercultural dialogue and cooperation.
The focus of the discussions will be on recognizing one’s own roles and responsibilities and finding solutions to challenges in the process of fulfilling higher educations’ mission in a 21st Century multiethnic society like this one. The report from the conference discussions will be used as a basis for needs assessment analysis and identification of key priorities for action of the relevant institutions. Human rights being one of the issues this conference aims to tackle, this project will also contribute to the UN World Programme for Human Rights Education.