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The Framework for priority actions
“Realization of the Olbian Declaration of Universities”

 

Preamble

We, participants of the international conference “Olbian Forum 2009,” presidents, chancellors, rectors and vice-rectors of universities in Ukraine and around the world, scientific institutions and non-profit organizations that functions in the sphere of higher education assembled in Yalta, Ukraine, on 11-14 June 2009, believe that the uniting of universities will lead to expanded cooperation among all nations and that, now more than ever, strong and effective universities are essential to the creation of sustainable societies worldwide.

In consideration of the fact that shaping a new world view, which includes democratization and adjustment to freedom, is the highest goal of university development,

and referring to the Olbian Declaration of Universities, signed on 12 June 2009 in Yalta,

we adopt this framework of priority actions, “Realization of the Olbian Declaration of Universities” as our guiding principles in the field of academic freedom, university autonomy and education as the fundamental basis for sustainable development.

  • Priority actions on the national level

 

    • Use the Internet and especially education portals to initiate discussions and hold forums about academic freedom and university autonomy with the aim of shaping community attitudes toward university autonomy and sustainable development.
    • Encourage Ukrainian mass media, nationwide, to cover the issues of academic freedom and university autonomy.

 

    • Use all the available means to promote the adoption of national government regulations that conform to international standards.
    • Publicly oppose any violations of academic freedom or university autonomy.

 

    • Establish partnerships among universities and units of government responsible for national policies with the goal of encouraging a renovation of our educational system, and ensuring that all partnerships are mutually beneficial and based on mutual respect and trust.
    • Establish closer cooperation with government officials and NGOs, as well as industry representatives, to foster interdisciplinary research and educational programs, policy making and information exchange that support sustainable development.

 

    • Develop educational programs that enable universities to provide future generations with high levels of knowledge and new world views, ensuring the future balance of nature and human life.
    • Introduce educational programs in ecological management, sustainable economic development, demographics and related disciplines that will equip university graduates with the knowledge to become ecologically, economically and socially aware citizens.

 

    • Develop a platform for communication and discussion among science, society, and business so that universities can help society react to national and world changes.
    • Create the Ukrainian Universities Association (UUA) as a collaborative body, coordinating the work of university leaders on national and international levels in support of academic freedom and university autonomy, with the long range goal of developing educational programs aimed at realizing sustained development of society.

 

  • Priority actions on the university level
    • Engage with local and regional mass media to inform communities about academic freedom, university autonomy and strategies for science and education for sustainable society.

 

    • Produce conferences and host debates that focus on the relationship between academic freedom and university autonomy, and science and education for sustainable society.
    • Include in executable code of the disciplines academic freedom, university autonomy and strategies for sustainable development issues.

 

    • Include discussions of academic freedom, university autonomy, and sustainable development across the university curriculum.
    • Monitor the status of academic freedom and university autonomy, science and education for sustainable society and spread findings to appropriate governmental bodies.

 

    • Establish relationships among universities, secondary, and primary schools, to develop interdisciplinary educational programs covering demographics, environment and sustained development.
    • Invite experts from business and NGOs to assist in research, the development of interdisciplinary educational programs, and community work that supports a sustainable future.

 

    • Set a positive example by implementing programs for waste reduction, waste re-use, and waste recycling.
    • Establish cooperative relationships with national and international organizations to promote the worldwide movement for sustainable universities.

 

    • University administrations and faculty will establish and protect creative and productive environments for educational and scientific work. All institutions acknowledge that academic freedom is only as an extension of the personal freedom of individual members of the academic community. Every member of the academic community must be able to see, hear, and think freely, to share openly, and to choose their own path to self-realization. Individuals shall never be forced into assigned roles nor made to feel that they must choose a consciously “safe” path.
    • To support open access to knowledge, universities and scientific institutions must:

- At each institution, develop policies and strategies to provide open internet access to full texts of all professor’s research findings.  Such access will increase the scientific, social and economic benefit of research.
- Support such open access by creating and maintaining institutional repositories, including open access scientific journals.
- Support research on the ways that such open information is used in studies, other research projects, etc.

    • A university shapes the life of everyone who joins its academic community. All gain a new outlook. The university’s work in personal development is based on the following principles:

 

  • Focus on active, creative, work in real conditions;
  • Learn through experience and strive to align thought and action;

 

  • Respect the individual but always set, and expect, high standards.
    • Each university administration shall create a Secretariat or Committee on academic freedom, university autonomy and education and science for sustained development. A primary function of these offices, or groups, will be to guide and monitor their organization’s implementation of the Olbian Declaration of Universities.

 

 

  • Priority actions on the global level

    • Monitor the worldwide progress of academic freedom and join international agreements that strengthen academic freedom and university autonomy, and encourage education and science for sustained development.
    • Participate in international forums and conferences, publish works about academic freedom, university autonomy and education and science for sustained development.

 

    • Adapt the provisions of international agreements and integrate them into University Statutes, policies, and procedures. Forward suggestions and make recommendations to governmental organizations concerned with issues of academic freedom.

 

    • Propagate the ethic of sustained development among government officials, business leaders, and the general population. Strive consistently to move all universities toward a sustainable future.
    • Each university must create its own institutional culture that supports sustained development, academic freedom, and university autonomy. And all universities, together, must create a national environment in which research, information exchange, and education and science are focused on global stability.

 

Support for the movement

The leaders of the universities of Ukraine, and other countries, scientific institutions and non-profit organizations that functions in sphere of high education, who gathered for the International Scientific and Practical Conference “Olvian Forum 2009” and any who choose to join the Olbian Declaration of Universities later, are prepared to take the actions outlined here to achieve the goals of the Olbian Declaration of Universities.

Within the limitations of our individual obligations, we agree to work together to bring into practice the principles of academic freedom, university autonomy, and education and science for sustainable growth that are proclaimed in the.

We urge the use of this document, or parts of the Olbian Declaration of Universities itself, when planning events or publications that pertain to academic freedom, university autonomy or education for sustainable development.

Therefore, within the limits of our authority, we undertake our individual and group obligations to advance all of the initiatives described here. To do so, we believe, will strengthen our own institutions and the world system of higher education. We take these actions with full respect for the cultural, linguistic and educational differences of nations, and for the autonomy of individual universities. To achieve these goals, we will build international cooperation, engage appropriate NGOs, and connect with the business community. We invite all universities worldwide to join our effort.

 

Yalta, Ukraine, 12 June 2009