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Universities and society in turbulent times: Bologna celebrates the Magna Charta Universitatum

The University of Bologna hosts the celebrations for the document that sets forth the inalienable principles of freedom, knowledge, research, and teaching at an academic level, which will be signed this year for the first time in presence in its renewed version

In these turbulent times, what contribution can universities make within society? This is the question at the centre of the three-day celebration for the anniversary of the Magna Charta Universitatum, which will be held at the University of Bologna from 14 to 16 September (plenary sessions, including the signing ceremony, will also be streamed live).

“Universities engaging with society in turbulent times” is the title of the event. It is promoted by the Magna Charta Universitatum Observatory, the body that monitors the application of the fundamental principles set forth in the Magna Charta. Internationally renowned speakers will offer perspectives and lead discussions on the new challenges faced by universities, while participants from universities all over the world will be able to meet face-to-face at a World Café.

On Friday 16 September, in the Aula Absidale of Santa Lucia, will be held the ceremony for the renewal of the signing of the Magna Charta in its latest version, the MCU 2020. The Magna Charta Universitatum was first signed in 1988, but since then the social, economic, and environmental context has undergone major changes. Thus, after a global consultation, the new version of the Magna Charta Universitatum (MCU 2020) was drafted and will be signed in presence for the first time this year.

Over 160 participants and more than 50 signatory universities are expected to attend the event. To date, more than 950 universities around the world have signed the Magna Charta, thus aligning themselves with the values of academic autonomy and freedom, the promotion of teaching and research activities, within a framework of absolute freedom and interaction between different cultures.