“These days, international mobility has become even more important to research and learning”

Signed during a virtual conference focused on mobility and hosted by Spain’s IE University, the statement serves as the beginning of an action plan in which the participating universities committed to:

  • Ensuring cross border collaboration and nurturing of diverse and globally-minded talent with a special focus on sustainability
  • The maintenance and furtherance of cross border knowledge-sharing for the collective wellbeing of society
  • Leveraging technology in higher education to enable maximum levels of interconnectedness and exploring more environmentally sustainable and equitable ways to connect across borders
  • Collaborative efforts within the higher education ecosystem to streamline cross border flows of talent and knowledge.
  • Global collaboration to identify effective health-related protocols that guarantee safe university campuses and at the same time facilitate international mobility.
  • Strongly embedded and upheld policies, actions and activities of diversity and inclusion across our educational institutions

IE University president, Santiago Iñiguez, opened the virtual event, commenting that higher education since its very inception has held international mobility at its core.

“The leading figures of academia in as early as the 12th and 13th centuries, for example, moved from location to location…teaching and delivering their research in Latin. They had a similar vision for transforming the world that we all share today,” he said.

“These days, international mobility has become even more important to research and learning, not just because of the coronavirus threatening the cross border mobility of students, faculty, and ideas, but also because of the rampant spread of populism and nationalism that is affecting many of our societies.

“This is why I believe universities can play a key role in changing our environment. If we mobilise our strengths, we can greatly improve society on a global level,” he added.

The event included a panel discussion on the topic of mobility in higher education and a conversation amongst participants followed, with commentary from the presidents, rectors, and representative institutions around the world.

In closing the event, Iñiguez remarked that “this is just the beginning of the journey”.

“The advantage is that we share a vision and passion for education, and for transforming the world.

“The future is ours so long as we work hard together to promote international mobility of students, faculty, and talent and build a more inclusive world, one that is diverse and tolerant and more respectful of sustainability,” he added.

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