Global university leaders convene to focus on civic engagement in higher education

Talloires Network Leadership Conference continues discussion among top international universities about how educational institutions can work together to shape a better world
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June 21, 2017

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Robin Smyton

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XALAPA VERACRUZ, Mexico (June 21, 2017) – More than 280 university leaders from around the world will gather at the Talloires Network Leadership Conference (TNLC) in Mexico beginning today to collaborate, exchange ideas and share best practices about how universities can educate active citizens and how universities can engage in their local communities. Attendees represent 64 universities from 31 countries.

TNLC2017, from June 21-23 at Universidad Veracruzana in Xalapa Veracruz, Mexico, will seek to build support for a global action plan to support the right to education, leadership opportunities, and economic mobility. The title of this year's conference is "Social Responsibility and Human Dignity in Higher Education Engagement."

The conference will include a keynote speech from Roberta S. Jacobson, U.S. ambassador to Mexico. Other speakers include Tufts University President Anthony P. Monaco, as well as fellow university presidents, professors, students, activists and leaders in the non-profit sector.

Nearly 400 institutions of higher education representing 77 countries and territories on every continent but Antarctica comprise the Talloires Network.

"Students and educators around the world want to make an impact," says Monaco. "We need their talents and insights to change the world and make a real difference in our communities —now more than ever before."

The conference coincides with the July 1 publication of "Regional Perspectives on Learning by Doing: Stories from Engaged Universities around the World." Edited by Lorlene Hoyt, Talloires Network executive director, this book of essays by network members from around the world - Australia, Egypt, Malaysia, Mexico, Scotland, South Africa and the United States – details how each is engaging local communities and responding to challenges in higher education.

"The Talloires Network gives universities an opportunity to network and share ideas about how to engage with and strengthen their communities, while fulfilling their mission of teaching and research," said Hoyt. "This book and this year's conference will give network members the chance to explore and exchange innovative strategies for educating civic leaders in a variety of professions."

The Talloires Network began in 2005 when then Tufts University President Lawrence S. Bacow convened 29 university presidents, rectors, and vice chancellors from 23 countries at the Tufts European Center in Talloires, France. Organized by the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life at Tufts and by Innovations in Civic Participation, the 2005 conference produced the Talloires Declaration on the Civic Roles and Social Responsibilities of Higher Education.

In addition to Tufts University, original signatories to the Talloires Declaration include the University of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, Korea University in South Korea, Aga Khan University in Pakistan, the University of Western Sydney in Australia, the University of Brighton in the United Kingdom, Universidad de la Habana in Cuba, and Georgetown University in the United States.

Over the past 12 years, the network has grown to include 376 network members.

TNLC2017 is the fourth network conference; after 2005, other conferences occurred in 2011 in Madrid and 2014 in Cape Town, South Africa.

For more information about how the Talloires Network encourages civic engagement, visit http://talloiresnetwork.tufts.edu/.

To stay connected with the Talloires Network this week, use the hashtag #TNLC17.

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About Tufts University

Tufts University, located on campuses in Boston, Medford/Somerville and Grafton, Massachusetts, and in Talloires, France, is recognized among the premier research universities in the United States. Tufts enjoys a global reputation for academic excellence and for the preparation of students as leaders in a wide range of professions. A growing number of innovative teaching and research initiatives span all Tufts campuses, and collaboration among the faculty and students in the undergraduate, graduate and professional programs across the university's schools is widely encouraged.