Globalisation of HE: the good, the bad and the ugly

Economy, Policies

Globalisation of HE: the good, the bad and the ugly

Globalisation – the tendency to global convergence and integration – has wonderful potential in the abstract. It offers the possibility that we can work our way out of the national container blocking collaborative action, for example, on climate change.

Global convergence suggests a full and formative encounter with the diversity of human ideas, knowledge, imagination, government, institutions, social habits, on the basis of unity in diversity, heer butong, in tianxia, all under heaven, the Chinese terms.No one country or culture has all the answers and we have much to learn from each other. That is the ideal.

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Safe speech vs free speech: higher education’s false dilemma

Education, Policies

Safe speech vs free speech: higher education’s false dilemma

In the ‘cancel culture’ era, universities should remember that the original purpose of free speech was to empower the weak, not to shelter them

Universities in the US and the UK have become a battleground in the war between safe speech and free speech. I believe that this is a false dilemma – and understanding its falsity can enable us to detect the social forces imposing it on us.

“If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear,” wrote George Orwell in 1945 in an introduction to Animal Farm. The introduction was so controversial that it was not made public until 1972.

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Covid-19 changed education in America — permanently

Education, Policies

Covid-19 changed education in America — permanently

It’s been a school year like no other. Here’s what we learned.

There was a moment last spring when every parent and employer in America suddenly realized how deeply their lives and livelihoods depended on an institution too often in the background and taken for granted: the nation’s schools.

With almost no notice, adults and children found themselves in the middle of a massive national experiment in new ways of teaching and learning, and new ways of dividing responsibilities between home, school and work.

A year later, it’s clear that the Covid-19 pandemic has changed education in America in lasting ways, and glimpses of that transformed system are already emerging.

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Breaking the silence — an intergenerational call for unity and action

Policies, Society

Breaking the silence — an intergenerational call for unity and action

“I could never again raise my voice against the violence of the oppressed … without having first spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today: my own government.”

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s words — delivered at New York City’s Riverside Church on April 4, 1967, exactly one year prior to his assassination in 1968 — resonate even more deeply now than when he first spoke them.

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Gandhi and Beyond: Nonviolence for an Age of Terrorism

Terrorism, Threats

Gandhi and Beyond: Nonviolence for an Age of Terrorism

“David Cortright is a life-long activist and respected scholar. In Gandhi and Beyond, he convincingly shows the power of nonviolence as a philosophy of life, not just a method of social action. His practical analysis of Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Dorothy Day, Cesar Chavez, and others brings new insights and inspiration to those of us attempting to live that philosophy, and to those, especially a new generation, who are seeking a better way to respond to their world. I commend this book to all who are seeking an alternative to violence.” Jim Wallis, author of God’s Politics and editor of Sojourners Is there room for nonviolence in an age of terrorism? Drawing on the legend and lessons of Gandhi,

Cortright traces the history of nonviolent social activism through the early twentieth century to the civil rights movement, the Vietnam era, and up to the present war in Iraq. Gandhi and Beyond offers a critical evaluation and refinement of Gandhi’s message, laying the foundation for a renewed and deepened dedication to nonviolence as the universal path to social progress and antidote to terrorism.

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