The Mission of the University: A Perspective from Georgia
Info about event
Time: September 30th, 2021, at 15.00-16.00 Central European Summer Time (CEST) (UTC+2)
Place: A Zoom-link will be shared with the participants closer to the event
Register before: 28.9.2021
Giorgi Tavadze is Professor of philosophy at East European University (Tbilisi, Georgia). He is also Head of the Varlam Cherkezishvili Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies. His main research areas are: political & legal philosophy, philosophy of education, postcolonial and post-totalitarian studies, political sociology, history of ideas, philosophical geography, sociology of places and spaces. Currently he is working on the handbook Introduction to Political Philosophy and on the monograph about the philosophy of higher education (with Prof. Paul Gibbs).
Chair: Dr Søren S.E. Bengtsen, Co-Director of CHEF, Aarhus University, Denmark
After the collapse of the Soviet Union Georgian HE system has undergone serious transformations. Especially important milestone was Georgia’s joining of EHEA in 2005. Besides this progress serious challenges remain none the less: there is increasing trend of homogenization and “copy-pasting” of western models without deep thinking of the local context. It is especially evident with regards to the discourse of the mission of the university in Georgian HE. I want to address this issue and outline my view of what universities should be for in the postcolonial situation in which Georgia finds itself. I will outline three main spheres - social, cultural, and political – and describe the mission of the university in each of them. In the description of each sphere special attention will be made to the relationship between local and global contexts and to the issues of social and global justice. These three dimensions (and local and global contexts) are interconnected. In this sense university can be regarded as a place, which gathers (Heidegger), rather than disconnects. It is a gathering topos, which gathers social (issues of poverty, education, health etc.), cultural (issues of cultural diversity), and political (issues of democracy and democratic participation) dimensions and serves as a hub between local and global contexts.