INU Leaders from 9 member universities will be meeting in Hiroshima from August 3-8 2023 to discuss ‘The role of Universities in internationally changing political and social contexts’.  The visit marks 25th anniversary of INU network, and also coincides with August 6 commemoration of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima in 1945.  The commemoration of this anniversary is a stark reminder for University Leaders of the importance of international collaboration, understanding and the role we play for the public good. It is a reminder of the importance of this network and its work in supporting our students, in their lives and future careers as global citizens, in developing cultural understanding and the skills needed to address complex real-world issues facing us today.

In this intimate forum, the summit will bring an opportunity to open dialogue on matters which affect universities and their students most greatly. It addresses the role of universities beyond education and research; the role of the university as a key driver of social change, as protectors of democratic rights and freedom of speech, challenging inequalities and upholding social justice, in often complex political backdrops. Working together as a collective of universities, we are ideally placed to drive meaningful change in both a local, regional and global context.

The event will be attended by senior leaders from James Madison University (USA), European University Viadrina (Germany), Hiroshima University (Japan), Malmö University (Sweden), Parahyangan Catholic University (Indonesia), Rovira i Virgili University (Spain), Stellenbosch University (South Africa), Universidad Nacional del Litoral (Argentina) and University of Osnabrück (Germany).

The objectives of the Leaders’ Summit are to:

  • Provide an intimate forum for strategic deliberation between University leaders, with like-minded institutions from around the world under a shared ethos of INU’s values and mission.
  • Provide a HE lens on key social and political contexts in which Universities are operating within, and to candidly share insights and future visions, in an intimate space.
  • Provide INU Leaders with access to a range of perspectives on issues facing higher educations in the current global climate and to give those attending the space to reflect on what this means for their institution and beyond.
  • Space to reflect on the role universities play as peacemakers, developing a community of global citizens; inclusive, open and skilled with intercultural competencies and cultural empathy and with the ability to make sense of real-world issues.
  • Bringing both students and leaders together at the Student Symposium, so each have a closer understanding of each other’s challenges.
  • Provide the opportunity to forge and consolidate relationships at senior leadership level between INU member universities, with the aim to develop collaborations and deepen relationships between INU leaders
  • Create greater understanding of International Network of Universities and the opportunities the network provides for each member to achieve their own priorities and to work together for mutually

The Summit is facilitated by Master of Ceremonies, Dr Morne Mostert, Strategic Foresight Advisor at Stellenbosch University, South Africa.  Dr Mostert commented in his note to delegates, “I accepted the invitation to facilitate INU Leaders’ Summit because my unwavering belief in the power of universities to transform society. Global dynamics now necessitate innovative approaches in our response to global mega-shifts as backdrop to localised risks and opportunities. The robust advancement of knowledge in pursuit of a more preferred future, is a role for which universities are uniquely positioned. The rigorous search for truth and meaning have become essential for social progress. I look forward to being of service to you as we explore our strategic opportunities in a rapidly changing political and
social context”.

The Summit culminates in the signing of a Charter, where members in attendance will re-affirm commitment to INU’s values and a pledge from INU member universities to addressing societal challenges in a global context.

INU’s flagship program for students, International Student Seminar for Global Citizenship and Peace is also taking place in Hiroshima at this time, and a panel of students will have the opportunity to address INU Leaders at a Student Symposium, where they can share their hopes and concerns for the future, and what they would like to see Universities could do to best prepare them.

For further information, please contact INU Coordinator: