IAUP Conference: “Building Bridges through Education”
University of Applied Science Upper Austria
The University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria, the University of Education Upper Austria and the Caucasus University, Georgia co-sponsored the conference “Building Bridges Through Education” with UNAI to actively demonstrate the importance of promoting intercultural competencies in educational and social service institutions as well as businesses. The conference was held in Linz, Upper Austria from the 19th – 21st of November 2012.
The conference discussions contained innovative and daring approaches about an improved intercultural dialogue and better understanding. Dr. Gerald Reisinger, President of the University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria and Chair, IAUP Central Europe, made the following remarks:
“Internationalization and in this case the building of bridges are the greatest challenges in the 21st century. An intercultural dialogue is a process that involves an open interaction between individuals from different cultural backgrounds, with the objective of understanding each other’s worldviews. The aim is to foster intercultural competencies in education, to create through education a cosmopolitan space, to give a better understanding of intercultural tolerances as well as the necessity of knowledge transfers. A higher standard of education leads to an increased emphasis on tolerance, multiculturalism and understanding. The conference `Building Bridges through Education` and the activities of the IAUP are further steps to this higher aim for more than 190 stakeholders from 15 different countries to network and share their opinions and experiences – from practical issues up to a science access.”
The participants noted a growing trend towards more cultural tolerance and the necessity of an equal access to education. A higher standard of education leads to more emphasis on tolerance, multiculturalism and understanding between peoples all over the world. The conference also emphasized the necessity of a high quality educational system which is just, fair and instills universal moral values as basis of intellectual development and understanding.