Public Universities Define Sailing Directions for Their Link with Communities in New Social Environments

    Conare Gives New Momentum to University Social Action

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    The Interuniversity Congress aims to promote discussion and highlight the work they do in public universities in communities across the country, for which teachers, students, research centers, municipal representatives and all institutions of the State of the social assistance sector, as well as community organizations to the 1st Interuniversity Congress of Extension and Social Action, which will be held on September 16th, 17th and 18th, 2019 at the Rodrigo Facio headquarters of the University of Costa Rica (UCR) , on the initiative of the National Council of Rectors (Conare).

    In order to discuss and highlight the work they do in the communities of the country, public universities will convene teachers, students, research centers, municipal representatives and other state institutions, as well as community organizations to the I Interuniversity Extension Congress and Social Action, which will be held on September 16th, 17th and 18th, 2019, at the Rodrigo Facio headquarters of the University of Costa Rica (UCR), an initiative convened by the National Council of Rectors (Conare).

    Under the slogan “Challenges and Opportunities in the New Contexts”, the conference will start with a reflection on the lessons learned in recent decades, primarily from the links between public universities and communities.

    In addition, the congressmen will define a route for the interuniversity regional policy of extension and social action, which will be debated in the plenary on the last day, facing the current social, economic and political contexts that currently threaten the constitutional precepts on the financing of Higher Education and University Autonomy.

    Other thematic axes are the visibility and the link with the communities from the experiences, the community role and forms of dissemination of the projects; In addition, regionalization will be discussed from the interuniversity and inter-institutional articulation.

    Student participation is another of the main focuses of the congress, giving space to a look at the communal work, professional practices, final graduation works related to social action and extension. From this approach, it is intended to develop new proposals for learning from and with communities as possessors of knowledge.

    University students teaching computing tasks

    Congressmen will also pay attention to the potential of extension and social action of public universities as generators of knowledge, through collaborative networks, the dialogue of knowledge and collective construction between social actors and the academy.

    Finalmente, entre los puntos de reflexión está el cómo la acción social incide en las políticas públicas relacionadas con la gestión de riesgo, el ambiente y el cambio climático; así como marcar la diferencia para lograr el bien común en una sociedad más equitativa, inclusiva y respetuosa de los derechos humanos.

    “Mirar la acción social y la extensión desde una mirada crítica es parte de nuestros objetivos. Debemos ser críticos en nuestro quehacer universitario, a la vez que tenemos una responsabilidad para la búsqueda del bien común de las poblaciones con menos oportunidades. La Acción Social y Extensión apuntan a esta finalidad en todas las regiones donde hay presencia universitaria pública y para seguir haciéndolo, se requiere del financiamiento necesario”, dijo la M.L. Marjorie Jiménez Castro, vicerrectora de Acción Social de la UCR.

    Regional processes

    The congress of next September will be the point of arrival for a process that will cover the whole territory with regional meetings. The first will be between June 18th and 19th at the University Center of the State University at Distance in Neilly City.

    Between 2017 and 2018 there was an intense process of reflection during the Social Action Forum: towards the University of Knowledge for the common good, whose results have allowed a reconceptualization of the university-society link.

    The following weeks, the Technological Institute of Costa Rica will organize another one in the Huetar Caribe region and the National Technical University in Huetar Norte. The National and UCR universities will be responsible for the meetings in the Chorotega and Central Pacific regions, respectively.

    These meetings will be set up in a space for the accountability of what has been done by the universities in the territories and will seek to strengthen inter-regional inter-institutional work, in the search to improve spaces for dialogue in communities.

    Likewise, the congress will seek the articulation of the action and social extension for the design of future projects, according to the needs and concerns detected by the inhabitants of the territories and social organizations, as an essential element to contribute to human development and improvement of the quality of life.

    This purpose of dialogue with communities and social organizations is supported by the call of the National Council of Rectors, so that the national university community promotes participation in regional headquarters.

    “It is important in the current situation to unite as public universities and to dialogue in the different regions, with the communities involved in the projects of social action and extension. What is new is not accountability or dialog; the new thing is that we are organizing the 5 Conare universities jointly, in order to coordinate with each other, with the different bodies and communities to propose initiatives, projects or programs of coordinated manner in search of maximizing human and economic resources, to give joint solutions to national problems”, said Vice-Chancellor Jiménez Castro.

    Public universities face communities In this link you can read widely on the thematic axes, participation modalities and important dates of this process. For more information, please contact the organizing subcommittee of the I Interuniversity Congress of Extension and Social Action at [email protected].

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