Together for fundamental university values
Affiliated universities of the Berlin University Alliance sign Magna Charta Universitatum 2020
News from Jun 16, 2021
The affiliated universities of the Berlin University Alliance (BUA) are unanimously taking a stand for freedom of research and teaching and institutional independence. As part of a public online event on June 16 and 17, 2021, the Freie Universität Berlin, the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and the Technische Universität Berlin will sign the Magna Charta Universitatum 2020 (MCU 2020). Launched in 1988, the Magna Charta Universitatum is a commitment to university autonomy, the unity of research and teaching, academic freedom, and the open exchange of knowledge. The charter has now been reissued in order to account for the changes in global and social developments. As a partner of the Alliance and the joint medical faculty of the Freie Universität Berlin and the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin also supports the goals of the charter.
“The fundamental rights of institutional autonomy, freedom of research and teaching, and the open exchange of knowledge form the core of a university’s identity and its role in society,” says Prof. Dr.-Ing. Dr. Sabine Kunst, spokesperson for the Berlin University Alliance and president of Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. “Not everywhere, though, is there such consensus on these important values, and, in many countries, this is even actively prevented. As a Consortium of Excellence, the Berlin University Alliance stands for the protection of these fundamental rights and is sending a clear message as its members jointly sign the Magna Charta Universitatum 2020.”
Universities are places of tolerance, inclusion, and respect
To date, the Magna Charta Universitatum has been signed by 904 universities from 88 countries, including the Berlin Universities of Excellence. In the updated version, special emphasis is placed on the responsibility universities bear toward the societies in which they are rooted as well as in relation to current issues. For example, universities are important players when it comes to researching pressing questions of our time and revealing solutions to global challenges. In order to do this, they must be given the means and rights to be able to act with intellectual and ideological independence. For the first time, the MCU 2020 is now also calling for universities to be places of tolerance, inclusion, and respect that actively campaign against discrimination.
The Magna Charta Observatory of Fundamental University Values and Rights is a non-profit organization established in 1988 by the University of Bologna and the European University Association (EUA). At the time of its foundation, the Magna Charta Universitatum was already signed by 388 heads of higher education institutions.
The Berlin University Alliance
The Berlin University Alliance is a consortium consisting of three major Berlin universities – Freie Universität Berlin, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Technische Universität Berlin – and Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, established to shape research and education in Berlin. The four partners joined forces to further develop Berlin as a research hub with international drawing power. Together the partners explore major societal challenges, increase public outreach, promote the training of junior researchers, address issues of quality and standards in research, and share resources in the areas of research infrastructure, teaching, diversity, equal opportunities, and internationalization. The Berlin University Alliance is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the state of Berlin under the Excellence Strategy of the Federal Government and the Länder.
Joint press release from Freie Universität Berlin, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Technische Universität Berlin along with Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin
Hans-Christoph Keller, acting press spokesperson for the Berlin University Alliance and press spokesperson for Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin