Other news - Tuesday, 19 February, 2008

4th International Barcelona Conference on Higher Education

Programme update and last weeks to register

We are pleased to send you updated information regarding the 4th International Barcelona Conference on Higher Education "Higher Education: New Challenges and Emerging Roles for Human and Social Development", 31 March- 2 April 2008 ( The objective of the Conference is to explore the role of higher education as a key element for human and social development and to rethink and propose new routes for the interchange of values between higher education institutions and society. Some key questions that will guide the debates and discussions are: * How are Higher Education and Higher Education Institutions addressing the challenges of globalization and the main problems involved: climate change, multicultural relationship, poverty reduction, MDG, education for all, gender, economic and development parity, among others? * Is it needed to reconsider curriculum contents and if so in which direction to become more relevant to social needs in a very broad sense, new technological, information-flooded and globalized society? * How are today`s research topics and interests affecting the evolution of our societies? Are they really contributing to close the gap between developed and developing countries or are they possibly widening them? * How can higher education contribute to a new, comprehensive perspective of what development is, not only in terms of industrial or economic progress, but also in human and social issues? * Thus, which is the role Higher Education should play in an immediate future in order to contribute to a more sustainable, ethic and integral human and social development? 20 speakers from 13 countries will share their knowledge, thoughts and experiences on the contribution of higher education to human and social development. Among them, many authors of the third "Higher Education in the World" Report will present and discuss their contributions. The Report will be handed to every conference participant. A special closing session will portray two enriching and future-oriented visions. Goolam Mohamedbhai, president of the International Association of Universities, will speak about the Millennium Development Goals. Konrad Osterwalder, the new rector of the United Nations University, will present the UNU Programmes related to human and social development, within two broad areas: "Environment and Development" and "Peace and Governance", including a special emphasis of UNU`s new project to contribute to the Alliance of Civilizations. Moreover, 48 papers from all over the world will be presented within eight thematic lines at the workshop sessions. These thematic lines explore the relationship between higher education and several topics, such as sustainable development, ethics, information and communication technologies, gender, arts, peace building, multiculturalism and citizenship. In addition, poster sessions will give participants the opportunity to interact with the authors of other papers. The full programme can be consulted at: As places are limited, the GUNI Secretariat encourages you to register now through our conference webpage ( and looks forward to seeing you in Barcelona. GUNI Conference Secretariat Tel. +34 93 319 63 23

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