HE,Service&LocalDevt-Arredondo-CHESP

HE,Service&LocalDevt-Arredondo-CHESP - Paper...

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Paper presented at the CHE-HEQC/JET-CHESP Conference on Community Engagement in Higher Education. 3 to 5 September 2006,Cape Town, South Africa. HIGHER EDUCATION, COMMUNITY SERVICE AND LOCAL DEVELOPMENT VICTOR A. ARREDONDO AND MARIO FERNÁNDEZ DE LA GARZA STATE OF VERACRUZ, MEXICO 1
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Paper presented at the CHE-HEQC/JET-CHESP Conference on Community Engagement in Higher Education. 3 to 5 September 2006,Cape Town, South Africa. Paper presented at the CHE-HEQC/JET-CHESP Conference on Community Engagement in Higher Education 3 to 5 September 2006 In today’s global world, where rapid socio-economical, technological and informational changes take place in modern sectors of society, higher education institutions face new challenges to provide timely and proper responses to an urgent need for distributed learning opportunities to all. Relevant knowledge, considered to be the most effective mean for local empowerment and community self-sustained development, must be accessible to all sectors of population in order to assure better levels of life quality. To improve local capacities at less privileged communities means to promote individual and collective self-managed skills and self-esteem that facilitate the needed conditions to assure accepted standards on health, nutrition, productivity, family and community integration, and sound environmental indicators, as well as on income distribution and assets procurement. Another basic criterion for global world functioning is interdependence . All nations and all sectors of a given society are interrelated. Economic growth depends on expanding differentiated markets. Larger and stronger markets depend on increased and better distributed consumption of goods and services. And increased rational consumption depends on higher productivity and awareness, as well as availability of financial resources in a significantly wider array of the world population. Sustained development and quality of life for all nations in the long term depend on the way local communities, across the glove, deal effectively with environmental issues, water supplies, public infrastructure, productivity, nutrition, health, family integration and, as a consequence, decreased migration. To promote local self-sustained development in less privileged communities is to work for the well-being of all nations in an interdependent world. What is then the role of Higher Education in the context of a most needed social distribution of relevant knowledge? What universities can do to play a significant role in the promotion of local empowerment for self-sustained development? How these institutions can contribute to certify differential levels of relevant knowledge among members of a given community and evaluate the social impact of their engagement?
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