Strategic Partnerships with the Developing World

08 May 2008
U21’s third annual conference for Vice-Chancellors and Senior Management investigates ways to help achieve the UN Millennium Development Goals<br />

Vice-Chancellors, senior university staff and leading academics from Universitas 21 will gather in University College Dublin, Ireland, on Thursday 08 May 2008 to investigate ways in which its 22 member universities can work together to contribute towards the achievement of the UN Millennium Development Goals. The President of Ireland, Mary McAleese will officially address the Symposium (Strategic Partnerships with the Developing World: A New Direction for Universitas 21 in Research and Education) before meeting with Vice-Chancellors and leading academics from the Universitas 21 network.

Professor Charles van der Horst, Professor of Medicine and Infections Disease at the University of North Carolina and Dr Glenn Denning, Director of the MDG (Millennium Development Goals) Centre in Nairobi, Kenya, will lead the opening session entitled: Major Development Issues: Can universities and their networks make a difference? Dr Michael Edwards, Director, Governance and Civil Society Program, Ford Foundation and Professor Jimmy Whitworth, Head of International Activities, Wellcome Trust, will lead the following session entitled: Collaboration with Developing Countries in Research and Education: The world through the eyes of the major international funding bodies. The closing session will focus on educating the next generation and encouraging a new level of “global citizenship” among future graduates. Professor Partha Sen, University of Delhi and Professor Rwekaza Mukandala, University of Dar es Salaam, will lead this session entitled: The New Global Citizen: Producing graduates for the next stage of global development.

Irish Aid, the Irish government’s programme of assistance for developing countries, will host a closing reception which will be attended by leading academics in issues of global ethics, sustainability and development who attended the U21 symposium. “I am delighted that President Mary McAleese will join us for this gathering of key international universities and speakers,” said Dr Hugh Brady, President of University College Dublin. “I’m also pleased that Irish Aid is so involved in this event. Not only does this show the Irish State and the Irish Government’s commitment to this important issue, it underlines the role that Ireland can and does play on the international stage. For its part, University College Dublin does this as a member of the leading Higher Education network, Universitas21.” “Symposia such as this are extremely important for a number of reasons. They bring together a diverse range of ideas, opinions and viewpoints from leading international universities for serious discussion, they encourage strong collaborative links to be formed and nurtured, and they enable us all to put in place the mechanisms for really making a difference and acting on the ideas generated on a global scale,” said Professor John T. Casteen, President of the University of Virginia and Chair of the Universitas 21 network.