News & Event

USRN Speaks at the Magna Charta Observatory Webinar: Universities’ Responsibilities to Society

Professor Robert Hollister, Senior Advisor to the USRN was invited to speak at the Magna Charta Observatory Webinar: Universities’ Responsibilities to Society on 29 September, 15:00 – 16:30 CEST. Professor Chris Brink, the former VC of Newcastle University and Professor Nalin Thakkar, Vice-President for Social Responsibility of The University of Manchester also spoke at the event.

The Magna Charta Observatory is a signatories’ association founded in 2000 by the University of Bologna and the European University Association that plays an active role in guaranteeing the respect, protection and promotion of the fundamental values and university rights set out in the Magna Charta Universitatum (MCU), signed in 1988 and developed in the MCU 2020.

The new Magna Charta Universitatum 2020 (MCU 2020) recognises the more global nature of what universities do and the wider range of local responsibilities which they have. The first of the principles set out in the MCU 2020 is ‘Universities acknowledge that they have a responsibility to engage with and respond to the aspirations and challenges of the world and to the communities they serve, to benefit humanity and contribute to sustainability.’ MCU 2020 goes on the say that to fulfil their responsibility, universities require ‘a reliable social contract with civil society’. 904 universities from 88 countries have signed either or both of the Magna Charta Universitatum drafted in 1988 and 2020.

The purpose of this Webinar was to start answering this question to give insight and inspire universities to consider further their social contract with civil society. Held on 29 September, the Webinar has attracted registrations from 68 different countries and over 140 actually participated in the event.

Webinar Recording