The Social Responsibility of Universities in Higher Education: The Challenge and Opportunity in International Education. (Word Doc)

Vargas Ruth & Brambila Luz del Carmen
Year of Publication: 

In the past two decades, education has been considered a factor in economic growth. The value that it has in the growth of newly developing countries, as well as its strategic value in the development of a knowledge based society help to emphasize its social importance, referred to more specifically as the social responsibility of universities (RSU by its Spanish acronym). This presentation will address the need to refocus the social role of the university as an mechanism to induce improvement not only in the quality of life for the community, but also in the institutions involved in the organization, development of social and political life in the region. Four responsibilities of the university towards society are: a) the socially responsible administration of the organization itself; b) academic preparation; c) the production and diffusion of knowledge; d) participation in the socially sustainable human development of the community. In the framework of the internationalization of higher education, one of the challenges and opportunities is the adoption of RSU, manifest in a variety of actions that span from institutional policies to its consideration as a transversal axis in the curriculum. This presentation reviews a variety of actions that incorporate RSU, and presents a proposal for the construction of RSU networks within the framework of CONAHEC.

Event Information
Event Title: 
CONAHEC's 12th North American Higher Education Conference - Monterrey 2008
Event Description: 

Join leaders and practitioners of higher education, business, government and students in the city of Monterrey, Nuevo León, Mexico for CONAHEC’s 12th North American Higher Education Conference! North Americans share many historical, cultural, and linguistic bonds and many common issues to face. With the signing of NAFTA in 1994, our region has become inextricably linked by growing economic ties. Leaders in North America recognize that regional and individual community prosperity depends largely on the global competencies of our future professionals -- today's students. Governmental and educational leaders acknowledge that higher education institutions in North America must be more proactive and offer students opportunities to gain international expertise by becoming more internationally oriented while strengthening local connections in their teaching, research and public service functions.More than a decade after NAFTA was launched, it is increasingly evident that our region cannot isolate itself, but must rather develop stronger and more productive linkages both internally and with other world regions. Higher education has an important role to play in connecting North America with the rest of the world. Together, we will revitalize the North American higher education collaborative agenda for the new political, economic and educational context in which we live today.