International speakers to discuss the role of university in the city

On August 23 at 10:50 (Moscow time) within the framework of the 4th Annual International Symposium: “Education and the City: quality education for modern cities” a plenary session will be held. The moderator of the session is Igor Shiyan, Head of Laboratory of Child Development at the MCU’s Institute of Urban Studies and Global Education.

The report “The Role of University in the City” will be presented by Joe O’Hara (Ireland), and the report “Rethinking University in Democracy and Student Activism for Social Justice” will be delivered by Monica Maini (India).

Joe O’Hara is President of European Educational Research Association (EERA), Director of the Centre for Evaluation, Quality and Inspection (EQI) of Dublin City University.

He will speak of the phenomenon of city university, its role in the development of city socio-cultural environment. He will also feature the city and university collaboration as a mutually enriching resource.

Monika Maini is a Doctoral Research Student of the Department of Educational Administration at the National University of Educational Planning and Administration (NUEPA) and her report will feature the student activism.

Since last few years, there is a rise in student’s protests and demonstrations at the Indian public universities for just educational reforms.

Educationalists in favor of democracy consider the student activism as essential for creation of public sphere at the universities, whereas the policy makers consider this activism as an impediment in the academic pursuits of the students.

During the research made by the speaker, the following issues were considered:

What is the place of student activism in the university?

How effective is student activism in bringing social transformation?

How can we build conscious student activism at universities that can raise voice for action for social justice in responsible way?

To seek the answers to these questions, this paper will analyze Paul Ricoeur idea of university to reflect upon the place of student activism in contemporary public universities.

Monica Maini will also speak of the critical approach to education based on the ideas of Paulo Freire.

Drawing from the ethnographic accounts of students’ protests collected as a part of ongoing research work on student voice in Indian public universities, this paper will illustrate the tensions involved in student activism for social justice and will analyze how critical education can help to overcome these tensions, resulting in solidarities to make universities a socially just political space.



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