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18 September 2015 | in Education

FISU at Magna Charta Universitatum Conference

BOLOGNA - FISU was invited to lead one of the 14th World Café sessions of the Magna Charta Observatory Conference (http://www.magna-charta.org/). Kolë Gjeloshaj, Director of the FISU Education Services, run the session named ‘The role of sport in promoting sport values’. The Conference, the main theme of which was ‘Values Beyond 2015: the global challenge for universities and their challenges’, took place in the University of Bologna in Italy on 17 and 18 September.  

At the opening ceremony the speakers addressed the topic of how the students learn as well as the new challenges of the internationalisation of education. Several elements that are interesting for our movement were underlined, such as:

  • The need expressed by students to learn outside of the classroom;

  • The focus on how to think and solve problems rather than to learn facts that you can find nowadays on the web;

  • The advantages and disadvantages of the internationalisation in terms of impact on the identity, brain circulation, costs, mobility of providers of education;

  • The challenge of the rapid growth of the number of students: mass vs. quality, public vs. private, the issue of access to higher education.


During the student session, Victor Ajao, Nigerian Erasmus Mundus student at the University of Bologna mentioned the following sentence that  summarises the student general approach: “Tell me and I forget … Show me and I remember … Involve me and I understand.”

On the second day, the ceremony of the signature of the Magna Charta Universitatum was organised. 26 universities from 21 countries joined the list of the 776 Universities from 81 countries that had already signed it. The ceremony was attended by Romano Prodi, UN Special Envoy for the Sahel, former Italian Prime Minister and President of the European Commission who used to teach at the University of Bologna.

The attendance of FISU to this event was a unique opportunity for our organisation to strengthen the relations directly with the senior officials (Rectors and President) of Universities.


(Source: Kolë Gjeloshaj, Director FISU Education Services)

The Magna Charta Universitatum

The Magna Charta Universitatum is a document that was signed by 388 rectors and heads of universities from all over Europe and beyond on 18 September 1988, the 900th anniversary of the University of Bologna. It contains principles of academic freedom and institutional autonomy as a guideline for good governance and self-understanding of universities in the future. Academic freedom is the foundation for the independent search for truth and a barrier against undue intervention for both government and interest groups.

Institutional autonomy is a prerequisite for the effective and efficient operations of modern universities. It also underlies the unique constellation of study, teaching and research, as represented by the European university for the last millennium, and must be further developed without abandoning these universal principles.

The universities now refer to this text as the standard of their belonging to an international community sharing the same academic values and purposes.


Downloads Magna Charta