European universities have launched a campaign, ‘European Universities for an Open World’, which calls on universities to reaffirm their commitment to the fundamental values of openness, tolerance and solidarity.
The initiative comes after many students, teachers and researchers were among victims of the Paris terrorist attacks.
Speaking on behalf of Europe’s higher education community, the European University Association (EUA) sent a message of solidarity and support to the French Conférence des Présidents d’Université (CPU) echoing their message “#Universitédebout – #NousSommesUnis.”
And just days before the Paris attacks, the German Rectors’ Conference issued its own call for ‘Open Universities’, urging its members to stand up against any form of xenophobia, and to defend the basic university values of openness, tolerance and diversity against the backdrop of the ongoing refugee crisis in Europe.
EUPRIO President Christine Legrand said: “We stand with European universities in opposing xenophobia and support the ‘European Universities for an Open World’ initiative.”
A statement from the EUA said: “Openness, tolerance and inclusiveness are fundamental university values, and diversity of opinion and the free exchange of ideas are the basis of all academic activity.
“This is a crucial message, even in difficult times and in the face of violence and extremism.
“We therefore urge universities to underline and communicate the core values of openness and tolerance and reinforce their culture of dialogue, reflection and exchange, both within the university community and beyond.”
• EUA Statement: European universities’ response to the refugee crisis
• Website of German Rectors’ Conference (HRK): http://www.hrk.de/universities-against-xenophobia
• Download the European Universities for an Open World logo here: http://eua.be/Libraries/project-logos-images/eua_logo_open_world-1.png?sfvrsn=2
Story: Nic Mitchell