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Social Responsibility as Academic Learning Course at the University

Ayseli Usluata

The globalizing world needs responsible young generations who will be agents of social development; so universities are faced with the need to design innovative educational approaches and include academic learning courses that encourage young students to develop awareness and critical thinking. The opportunities to share love, kindness and respect with the local people and all living beings and to exchange ideas, experiences, different perspectives and perceptions through interaction with the students of a university in a different country help to develop mutual learning.

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Social Responsibility of Universities: Educating Young People to Survive in a Globalizing World

Extract

What is needed is opening minds

to the complexity of the world and of human thought

and opening hearts to the diversity of human experience and feeling.

Martin J Gannon

Since the start of the century, the proposal for a new position with the responsibility of founding a new department at a new university inspired me to rethink what is expected from universities in this century of change. Considering the crucial role universities play in young people’s lives, their social responsibility can be questioned. “Social responsibility theory” articulates their obligation to serve the public, and education has the potential to help young university students acquire the necessary knowledge, skills, values and motivation to take action as thoughtful, caring and responsible citizens within communities. Berkowitz (1997) points out that education inevitably affects character, either intentionally or unintentionally, and being socially responsible means that people and organisations must behave ethically and with sensitivity and question whether their actions will improve the lives of others.

Research results published in the magazines of institutions of higher education reveal, and academics agree, that universities are faced with the need to change their established structures and curricula to keep up with the changing times by strengthening social role of education and promoting shared and universal human values. Universities’ commitment to social responsibility and the learning outcomes necessary for all university students to become global citizens in the twenty-first century have been the research topics of academics...

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