INTERNATIONAL FLAGSHIP PROJECT. Towards the Development of a Reference Framework on Social Responsibility in Universities
The past few years have seen various worldwide ranking systems for universities created, within a competitive context. These rankings have been based mainly on the performance of universities in terms of graduates and research publications. Public policy tends to take into account assessment standards made up of the same type of criteria and dismiss essential values Catholic universities struggle to put forward in today’s societies.
IFCU is undertaking a process of reflection with the goal of implementing a reference framework based on the level of social responsibility of universities, as well as on their positioning coherent with their Catholic character. This project is timely as many of our member universities are currently reflecting on their own Catholic identity and the concrete way in which the same should be implemented both within and outside their premises. International rankings based solely on the evaluation of scientific impact don’t highlight nor showcase the vital support universities provide at a human, professional and spiritual level to their student base.
This project thus aims firstly to provide Catholic universities with a new reference framework for their self-assessment, in order to help them to better detect their specificities and various criteria that could help them, among others, in the promotion of their Catholic identity. For the future of our universities, such a project is crucial and will provide a new type of positioning on the university market, which highlights extremely valuable actions that have been disregarded so far by the higher education community.
IFCU wishes to create a university ranking system in order to:
Contribute to the positioning of Catholic universities as communal and social actors;
Provide increased visibility for all the existing socially respectful practices within Catholic universities;
Identify templates for the best practices which might constitute a source of inspiration for universities within the IFCU network;
Encourage member universities to improve their communal and social policies and practices;
Propose a credible alternative to pre-existing university ranking systems on a national, regional and international scale.
email : montserrat.alom[@]bureau.fiuc.org