UM GCEd Symposium

The Fourth UM Global Citizenship Education Symposium

Maastricht University has committed to developing a repertoire of activities that ensure Global Citizenship Education for bachelor and master students. There are many different views on what global citizenship education entails, however.

One perspective on GCEd is offered by UNESCO (2018): “the goal of global citizenship education is to empower learners to engage and assume active roles both locally and globally to face and resolve global challenges and, ultimately, to become proactive contributors to a more just, peaceful, tolerant, inclusive, secure and sustainable world”.

In recent years, we have started to explore how we can best make GCEd fit our local context and ambitions.

On Thursday 22 June 2023 the Fourth UM Global Citizenship Education Symposium will allow educators, students and external stakeholders to learn more about (how we can foster) global citizenship.

You can sign up for the symposium here:

Registration is free of charge, but places are limited.

What can you expect?

This year’s symposium will have a focus on intercultural conflict within and around higher education and bring fresh perspectives on challenges we are facing, including the changing tone of the internationalisation debate in The Netherlands. We will also look how we can apply what we learn in practice, for instance in sessions on developing soft skills, citizenship for sustainability, transdisciplinary education and student-teacher co-creation.

Keynote presenters include Eleanor Brown, a senior lecturer in Education in the Centre for Research on Education and Social Justice at York University, who will discuss how critical pedagogy and transformative learning inform teaching for global citizenship in higher education. She will also address questions arising from calls to decolonise education.

Wiel Veugelers, Emeritus Professor of Education at the University of Humanistic Studies in Utrecht, will analyse developments in theory, policy and practice of moral education and citizenship education in the past few decades and argue for connecting the moral and the political in global citizenship.

In parallel sessions the following topics will be addressed:

Citizenship for sustainability – How can GCEd contribute to sustainable development? Lessons learned in an interdisciplinary minor Sustainability and elsewhere at UM will help participants imagine how they might equip students with the knowledge and skills to work towards a sustainable future.

Decolonising the curriculum – Participants will explore approaches to challenging and dismantling dominant Eurocentric perspectives and narratives that have historically shaped educational systems with examples from York and Maastricht.

Building character strength through Improv – This session shows how global citizenship attitudes and virtues can be stimulated through improvisation theatre. It allows actors to think on their feet, make quick decisions, and explore different perspectives, as it fosters resilience, creativity, and empathy.

Transdisciplinary education – Teaching and learning formats for integrating knowledge and methods from multiple disciplines to address complex real-world problems are emerging rapidly. Examples at UM and elsewhere will trigger discussion on how such initiatives can be embedded within all programmes and scaled.

The student-teacher relationship – Together with Bildung Academie participants explore how we should conceive the student-teacher relationship if we strive for more co-creation and shared ownership. Under which conditions can students and teachers optimally contribute to each other’s formation?

Violence prevention education – Participants learn about an innovative transdisciplinary educational module that helps equip students across all disciplines with knowledge about the causes of violence, and tools to prevent violence before it occurs through examining the problem with societal stakeholders.

Nonviolent Communication for managing intercultural conflict – Nonviolent Communication (NVC) emphasizes compassionate and nonjudgmental communication that focuses on identifying and expressing feelings and needs. In this session participants explore how NVC can help address intercultural conflict.

Woke as Science – In this brown bag session, participants can continue the discussion on progressivism in the university context that was started in episode 4 of the Woke as Science podcast.

A closing panel discussion will highlight developments within UM faculties, bring different threads together and invite the audience to look ahead at a time when flag bearers for international education need to step up. In between sessions there will be plenty of time for meeting local and international experts to exchange ideas and networking.

You can sign up for the symposium here:

Registration is free of charge, but places are limited.