From March 1-5, 2021, the BKMC took part in ENLIGHT European University Network‘s official virtual kickoff, an alliance of nine European universities, striving for students to become lifelong learners and agents-of-change ready to tackle the challenges of tomorrow. The week was packed with exciting lectures, high-level roundtables, student-led sessions, and more!
BKMC CEO and External Advisory Board member of ENLIGHT, Monika Froehler, joined two separate public sessions to share the message of the BKMC and to highlight the importance of instilling global citizenship knowledge, skills, and behaviors in students as well as fostering lifelong learning.
On March 2, CEO Froehler joined a high-level round-table discussion between ENLIGHT Rectors and the ENLIGHT External Advisors. The discussion was themed, ‘Shaping communities – How can universities contribute to local and regional challenges?’ and featured three smaller roundtables on ‘Learning and Teaching,’ ‘Research,’ ‘International Cooperation’ respectively
Taking part in the third roundtable on ‘International Cooperation,’ CEO Froehler underlined the incredible potential for sustainable impact through the ENLIGHT network:
“If only 1/3 of ENLIGHT students become gamechangers, this would make Europe a leading champion in multilateralism.” – Monika Froehler
During the second roundtable on ‘Research’, External Advisory Board member and BKMC Board Member, Irina Bokova (former Director-General of UNESCO), underlined academia’s role in contributing to the sustainable development agenda:
“What is very important is for universities to introduce the concept of interdisciplinarity, lifelong learning & global citizenship education to prepare students for future challenges.” – Irina Bokova
To conclude the discussion, the roundtable participants were asked to reflect on what attracts talented students to universities and the “value proposition” of ENLIGHT. The participants, including university Rectors and Presidents in addition to the esteemed External Advisors, remarked that the consortium will help to increase the talent pool at member universities as students will have the unique chance to benefit from the best educational opportunities available at all 9 universities. Each university has its strengths and together, the Enlight university members form a “virtuous circle” which helps individual universities develop along with the wider regions in which they are located.
On March 4, CEO Froehler joined Flagship Lecture #3 on ‘Global Engagement and Equity’ and presented a keynote themed, ‘Engaging Global Citizens for the Achievement of the SDGs.
During her talk, Monika outlined the key tenants of global citizenship and how the BKMC is working to engage and empower youth and women as actors for the SDGs. She also spoke about the role of ENLIGHT in educating engaged global citizens:
“We hope to fundamentally transform European Higher Education with ENLIGHT by empowering learners as engaged global citizens with state of the art knowledge, skills & innovation potential.” – Monika Froehler
Andrej Findor, Associate Professor and acting Director of European Studies and International Relations at Comenius University in Bratislava, Slovakia, focused his keynote on the comparative evaluation of equity, inclusion, and diversity (EID) indicators at nine European universities.
“The pandemic has intensified the exclusion of different types of people.For example, some students at Comenius are going through difficult socio-economical situations as their parents or even themselves are now unemployed.” – Andrej Findor