Formed in 1991, The International Consortium for Higher Education, Civic Responsibility, and Democracy (IC) seeks to develop, explain and advance the contributions of higher education to democracy on college and university campuses, their local communities and the wider society. The Consortium works in collaboration with the Council of Europe (CoE) and its Steering Committee on Educational Policy and Practice (CDPPE) with representatives of the 50 States party to the European Cultural Convention and is comprised of the United States (represented by a Steering Committee from the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, American Council on Education, Association of American Colleges and Universities, Campus Compact, Democracy Commitment and NASPA (National Association of Student Personnel Administrators)), Australia (Engagement Australia), and the United Kingdom (represented by the National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement).
The Barbara and Edward Netter Center for Community Partnerships at the University of Pennsylvania houses the executive offices of the Consortium. Ira Harkavy, Associate Vice President and Founding Director of the Netter Center, is the U.S. Chair. Campus Engage will be represented by Prof Ronnie Munck, DCU.
Other recent members of the Consortium include Engagement Australia and the National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement United Kingdom.
Most recently the Queens University Belfast hosted the Network’s Global Forum on “Higher Education for Democratic Innovation” in June in collaboration of the European Wergeland Centre and the European Students Union.
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- Universities as Sites of Citizenship and Civic Responsibility Project is a research program that explores the activities of institutions of higher education that support democratic values and practices; assesses their dispositions and capabilities to promote democracy; and examines how university resources can be used to improve the contributions of higher education to democracy. Fifteen higher educational institutions from across Europe and 15 colleges and universities in the United States comprised the pilot study. Subsequently 5 South African, 10 Korean, and 8 Australian universities conducted studies based on the “Universities as Sites” protocols. Universities as Res Publica (Council of Europe) and Beyond Rhetoric: University-Community Engagement in Victoria (EIDOS, Australia), and various articles including Michael Daxner’s (Emeritus President-University of Oldenberg) in The Presidency were published on the studies. (The U.S. pilot study was funded by the National Science Foundation.) The University of Pennsylvania, the organizational center for the IC also developed the Democracy Project, a longitudinal study to assess the change in democratic values, competencies and skills of Penn students.
Publications Related to the IC and Council of Europe (CoE) Collaboration
“Creating Civil Societies: The University’s Role.” The Presidency. (Spring 2003) Author: Michael Daxner.
The University as res publica - higher education governance, student participation and the university as a site of citizenship. Editor: Sjur Bergan. (2004) Publisher: CoE
Beyond Rhetoric: University-Community Engagement in Victoria (Australia). Authors: Alexandra Winter, John Wiseman and Bruce Muirhead. (2005) Publisher: EIDOS
Higher Education and Democratic Culture: Citizenship, Human Rights, and Civic Responsibility. Editors: Josef Huber and Ira Harkavy. (2008) Publisher: CoE
Advancing democratic practice: A self-assessment guide for higher education. Authors: Douglas Barrera and Virgilio Meira Soares (2010) Publisher: CoE
School-Community-university partnerships for a sustainable democracy: Education for democratic citizenship in Europe and the United States of America. Authors: Matt Hartley and Ted Huddleston. (2010) Publisher: CoE
Higher education for modern societies: competences and values. Editors: Sjur Bergan and Radu Damian. (2010) Publisher: CoE
Video on the International Consortium released at the Global Forum at the Council of Europe (2008). Available on the IC website.
Reimaging democratic societies: a new era of personal and social responsibility (2013). Publisher: CoE
“Cooperating across the Atlantic: Helping Realize Higher Education’s Democratic Mission.”, Diversity and Democracy, 16:1 (winter 2013) Authors: Ira Harkavy and Sjur Bergan
Conferences and Joint Presentations by the IC and the Council of Europe
2005: Universities as Sites for Citizenship: Citizenship Through Education: Trans-Atlantic and Global Perspectives at University of Pennsylvania
Ira Harkavy, Senior Fulbright Scholar. “University Civic Responsibility in the 21st Century,” Fulbright lecture or seminar presented to eleven Australian universities.
Presentation at the American Political Science Association Annual Meeting. Moderated by Henry Teune (Penn) and panelists included Krzystof Ostrowski (CoE), Frank Plantan and Ira Harkavy (Penn).
2006: Global Forum on Higher Education and Democratic Culture held in Strasbourg at the Council of Europe
2007 Symposium: Universities, Democratic Culture & Human Rights held at the University of Pennsylvania
Sixth Plenary Meeting of the Council of Europe’s Steering Committee on Higher Education and Research, included presentation on the Symposium held at University of Pennsylvania.
"The Council of Europe’s Transnational Project: A Leverage Point for Educating for Social Responsibility" Speakers: Sjur Bergan, and two presidents who attended the 2006 Global Forum, Pamela Fox (Mary Baldwin College) and David Pollick (Birmingham-Southern University).
Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) Annual Meeting 2007: The Real Test: Liberal Education and Democracy's Big Questions
Students for Human Rights and Democratic Education: A Student Conference to Commemorate International Human Rights Day held at Penn. The conference was student organized and run.
Connecting the Local and Global Agendas through University Partnerships"
Association of International Education Administrators (AIEA)
Annual Conference 2007: The Global University: Challenges and Opportunities
Conference on the “University Between Humanism and Market: Redefining Its Values in the 21St Century” November 20-21, 2007, Strasbourg
2008 Global Forum on “Converging Competences: Diversity, Higher Education and Sustainable Democracy” held at the Council of Europe.
2009 Council of Europe and the US Steering Committee of the IC presented at the AAC&U conference on Educating for Personal and Social Responsibility: Deepening Student and Campus Commitments.
2010 “Academic Freedom & Institutional Autonomy in the United States: Balancing Rights and Responsibilities.” Molly Corbett Broad, President, American Council on Education. Strasbourg, FR
2011 The Global Forum on “Reimagining Democratic Societies: A New Era of Personal and Social Responsibility?” in Oslo, Norway in collaboration with the European Wergeland Centre, the University of Oslo, the International Association of Universities and the Norwegian authorities.
2012 “International Perspectives on Higher Education-School-Community Partnerships” panel at the Netter Center’s 20th Anniversary International Conference on “The Role of Higher Education-Community-School Partnerships in Creating Democratic Communities Locally, Nationally & Globally. Panel included IC/CoE collaborators Sjur Bergan and Bruce Muirhead and was moderated by Matt Hartley.
2014 Global Forum on “Higher Education for Democratic Innovation” held in June at Queen’s University with the collaboration of the European Wergeland Centre and the European Students Union.