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What is the public role of today's university?

Image from the Communia 2010 University & Cyberspace conference website, under Creative CommonsWhy do we have universities? Are they only there to serve students and conduct research? Or is it that, through this and in addition to this, they also have an important public responsibility and public role? To address such questions an international event is planned at the KU Leuven (Belgium) on 10-11 February 2011: Curating the European University: Exposition and Public Debate. The deadline for submission of outline proposals is 31st May 2010.

On the same issue, the upcoming Communia 2010 Conference on University & Cyberspace will also address the civic role of universities (particularly in its plenary session on 29 June). A programme draft is available here. [26may10]

The February 2011 event in Belgium will be organized around an exposition of initiatives, practices or designs that aim to develop and support the university as a public institution. These initiatives should propose alternative but realistic ideas and plans on how to enhance the public role of the university across all its domains: research, teaching, service, administration, work. Submissions from all who are directly or indirectly involved in the university are welcome. Submissions are not limited to textual accounts, but may include visuals, photographs, video, installations, and so on. The main criterion is that projects should exemplify ways in which we can take care for the public role of the university in Europe today.

The deadline for submission of outline proposals is 31st May 2010. An international jury will make a selection by 28th June 2010. Final deadline for submission of full projects is 1st November 2010. The exposition of selected projects will start on the first day together with the official presentation of the catalogue. During the second day of the meeting round tables will be organised to discuss the projects. For more information please contact

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