Higher Education and Society

The factors in society that have an impact on and are impacted by educational institutions, as well as the system of which they are a part, are posing a number of previously unmet challenges to them. Wide-ranging demographic changes, declining provincial budgets, revolutionary information and telecommunications technology advancements, globalization, competition from new educational providers, market pressures to shape scholarly practices toward profit-driven ends, and rising demands and pressures for fundamental changes in public policy and public accountability relative to the role of higher education in addressing urgent issues are some of these forces. Each of these obstacles would be substantial on its own, but taken together, they make education more complicated and challenging.

We can agree on the following through a discussion of education: Improving the relationship between higher education and society will call for a concerted effort that covers the entire field of education, not just certain institutions, departments, and groups.

Piecemeal approaches can only go so far; change tactics need to be based on a common vision and a set of goals. The current “organizational” approach to change shows less potential for reforming academic culture than a “movement” approach.

Strategic collaborations, networks, and alliances with a wide range of stakeholders in and outside of education will be necessary to mobilize change.

By fostering the formation of strategic alliances between people and organizations that care about the importance of higher education, the Common Agenda is expressly created to support a “movement” approach to change.

A shared agenda

The Common Agenda is meant to be a “living” document that directs collaborative action and learning among committed partners both inside and outside of higher education. The Common Agenda is a collection of targeted initiatives that are meant to advance civic, social, and cultural roles in society. It is a living document. The diversity of activity and programmatic foci of people, organizations, and networks are respected by this jointly developed, carried out, and focused Common Agenda, which also acknowledges the shared interests of the group as a whole. The Common Agenda, which is an open process, serves as a framework for tying together connections and activity centered on the academic role in assisting society. There are several ways to exclude and magnify the common work within and outside of education.

This strategy is unusual in its intent and execution and understandably ambitious. In the conclusion, the Common Agenda calls on the higher education system and people who believe that education is essential for resolving society’s pressing problems to take deliberate, coordinated, and unambiguous action on a growing and important set of social commitments. Currently, the Common Agenda’s focus is being shaped by four major topic areas: 1) Increasing public awareness of and support for our civic goals and initiatives; 2) fostering networks and collaborations; 3) instilling and reinforcing the value of civic responsibility within higher education institutions’ cultures; and 4) incorporating civic engagement and social responsibility into the design of the educational system.

Directive Principles

I see the work of higher education to be fundamentally based on social justice, ethics, educational parity, and societal transformation for the better. We believe that the work of education is interconnected with other institutions and people in society, and that the relationships between communities and educational institutions are founded on the values of equality, respect, and reciprocity.

We shall look for and rely on strong alliances with a variety of organizations and committed people both inside and outside of higher education.

We understand how politics, power, and privilege are intertwined. The Common Agenda calls for higher education to “walk the walk” in terms of declared public aims rather than serve its own interests. We see the Common Agenda as a living, dynamic text, and we anticipate the activities it

THE GENERAL FRAMEWORK FOR AGENDA The following diagram shows the broad outline for the shared agenda. While goals and action items are categorised and separated into different issue categories, it is obvious that there is significant overlap and complementarity between the issues, goals, and action items. The names of the people who agreed to act as “point persons” for each action item are also listed after it. Along with the shared agenda is a list of “point people” and their affiliation(s) with other organizations.


The public increasingly associates the advantages of higher education with landing a “good job” and making “better income.” Discussions about the function of higher education in society need to be critical and open-minded if the general public is to comprehend and support the full benefits of higher education. Create a shared language that is understood both inside and outside the organization. Taking Action: Through interactions with a larger public, create a shared vocabulary and themes about our academic function and duty to the public good.

Gather research on the public good, look over the themes, and decide what is still unclear. Through the creation of marketing initiatives, raise public awareness across the country of the value of higher education.


Find ways to include alumni groups in promoting the common good and bridging the gap between higher education and diverse private and public sector businesses. Create discourse norms to raise the standard of conversation at all societal levels. Plan a number of open discussions about higher education and the common good with diverse public sectors.

Developing networks and partnerships is issue two.

In order to develop plans and take actions that take into account several valuable viewpoints and experiences, it is necessary to work with a diverse range of partners when tackling difficult issues like the role of higher education in society.

Strategic collaboration with those inside and outside of higher education is required to accomplish shared objectives on behalf of the general welfare in order to build broad partnerships that will improve the relationship between higher education and society.

Among higher education associations, establish an information and resource network. Establish information systems that promote pertinent conferences, hire speakers, and promote presentations at pertinent national conferences. Create possibilities for knowledge transfer and learning inside and among different postsecondary institution kinds (e.g. research-centered communities).

Goal: Foster diversified partnerships and strategic alliances.

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Taking Action: Establish and encourage ongoing collaborations and partnerships between higher education associations and the outside world (e.g. civic organizations, legislators, community members) Examine with the general public how to use the arts to further higher education for the general welfare. Encourage cooperation between institutions of higher learning and solve issues with enrollment, retention, and graduation