PEER Network symposium on Supporting and Learning from Universities in Times of Conflict
The Political Economy of Education Research Network (PEER) will host a symposium on Supporting and Learning from Universities in Times of Conflict. Having been neglected for many years in research, policy and practice, there is an emerging realisation that the economic and political abandonment of universities in times of conflict not only degrades national capacities and blights potential for economic recovery, but also forecloses the rebuilding of critical spaces where young people can encounter and contest different ideas, ideologies and identities in the aftermath of war. The circumstances facing universities in times of conflict differ greatly according to context, relations with the state, the nature of the conflict itself, and the types of threats to universities, academics and students during civil war, foreign invasion or military occupation. Yet scope for the resilience and resistance of universities, academics and students in times of conflict is almost always shaped by the relative presence or absence of support, connection and solidarity both internally and externally and how this translates into defending and reimagining the university and its role in society. In Afghanistan, Iraq, Turkey, Syria, Nicaragua, Colombia, Palestine, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Kashmir, Sri Lanka, Lebanon, Bosnia, Ukraine and countless other contexts, the trajectories of universities are powerfully shaped by the ways in which they have been supported or abandoned by national and international actors in times of conflict, with enduring consequences for post-conflict recovery and rebuilding a democratic society.
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SAR Europe’s Advocacy Manager, Denise Roche, will join a roundtable discussion on ‘Policy directions on issues of higher education, conflict and post-conflict recovery’.