We, the presidents and representatives of the Rectors’ Conferences of Austria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, Poland, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Switzerland, have met today in Vienna in order to discuss what role universities should play in today’s societies.
We express our strong belief in the fundamental values of higher education that reflect the achievements of enlightenment. Academic freedom and integrity of research and teaching, institutional autonomy, the meaningful participation of students and faculty in higher education governance, and public responsibility for higher education are key elements for its functioning and development. We wish to, hereby, reconfirm the importance of the fundamental principles of the Magna Charta Universitatum, in particular a holistic approach to educate future generations fostering their physical, psychological, and intellectual development.
We are committed to further these fundamental values of higher education and we will strengthen our dialogue with a special focus on shared experiences, both within the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) and beyond. Furthermore, we emphasize the contribution of higher education institutions to society, fostering intercultural understanding, equitable access, civic engagement, and ethical education, and enhancing social responsibility.