30 July 2004 | Report

Higher Education in a Pluralist World: A Transatlantic View

Madeleine Green, Andris Barblan

in June 2003, the European University Association (EUA) and the American Council on Education (ACE), in cooperation with the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC), organized the eighth session of the Transatlantic Dialogue, a cross-border conversation that both associations have been co-sponsoring since 1989.


EUA, ACE, and AUCC invited academic leaders representing a variety of colleges and universities from Canada, Europe, and the United States to discuss the role of and challenges to colleges and universities in developing pluralist societies. Referring to a rich literature on universities’ capacity for change and their ability to transform the social environment, participants compared across cultures and borders their own institutional experiences in a plural society and tried to define a common ground for action.

Rather than provide a summary of the conversation, the organizers asked the event’s two facilitators, Madeleine Green, vice president and director of ACE’s Center for Institutional and International Initiatives, and Andris Barblan, the former secretary general of EUA, to write an essay that captured the discussion highlights. This report reflects the richness of the conversation in Salzburg and showcases the relevance and importance of the meeting’s theme to the future of higher education on both sides of the Atlantic.

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