Talk for Open Society University Network

On May 29, my co-author Noah Pickus and I gave a talk for the Open Society University Network (OSUN), which is led by the courageous and innovative leaders at Bard College in New York, and the Central European University in Vienna, Austria. The network includes nearly 30 member universities across the world, in a range of countries and territories including Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan, Bangladesh, Ukraine, Palestine, and Taiwan. The network also includes Ashesi University, one of the institutions we wrote about in our book, the New Global Universities. The image below, from the OSUN website, shows the scope of this global network.

The announcement for the talk included a nice blurb about the book, and we had a global audience of attendees who asked very good questions. We are grateful to Gray Rinehart for the invitation. Among the attendees were representatives of universities such as Parami University, based in Myanmar, and led by Kyaw Moe Tun, who asked some good questions. Parami University has been part of many of our discussions within the Pacific Alliance of Liberal Arts (PALAC), a group based at Soka University of America, that I founded along with Thomas Schneider, who is now leading the Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU).

We especially valued the chance to think about how new universities can help engage students and communities within countries that are struggling to gain greater freedom, and we believe that high quality liberal arts education, with academic freedom to explore deep questions that affect all of us as common members of humanity, provides the greatest hope for peace and a better world. Our new universities we write about are helping to build this better world, along with the universities built and led by the members of the OSUN group.