One year after its creation, the Kircher Network held its General Assembly. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the presidents and deans gathered virtually to discuss the most critical issues to continue developing the network.
The Assembly discussed the report of the Kircher Council on the progress on the five action priorities of the Operational Plan 2019 – 2020.
- Mapping the network and identifying common projects.
- Increasing collaboration among the Kircher´s institutions and with other Jesuit higher education networks, particularly through the coordination of the “IAJU-Best Practices in Jesuit Higher Education Project”.
- Assuming the coordination and preparing a proposal for the redesign and strengthening of the HEST Project.
- Reflecting on the Role of Theology in Europe in the next decade.
- Establishing the Group of the Kircher Liaisons and developing the information and communication channels of the network.
During the year coming, the network will continue working on the activities included in these five priorities.
About the HEST Project
The Council’s proposal for redesigning and developing a second stage of the Higher Education for Social Transformation project (HEST) over the next three years was approved.
The following are the three new strategic themes to be addressed under the HEST project:
- Humanization of Health, which was proposed by the president of Deusto University, José María Guibert, S.J. This is an important theme that is directly related to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, which our universities and faculties of philosophy and theology could make a significant contribution toward.
- Theology through a methodology that fosters listening to the poor which was proposed by the director of the Centre Sévres, Etienne Grieu, S.J.
- Secularization in Europe, proposed by the dean of the Loyola Andalusia University- Fac. of Theology, Gonzalo Villagrán, S.J.
Our institutions are preparing proposals for evaluating the development of common projects on these strategic themes.
Among the major incoming activities of the network approved by the Assembly are:
- An online meeting of the deans of theology and philosophy to identify collaboration initiatives.
- A virtual meeting of the Group of International Relation Officers to discuss actions to increase academic collaboration and mobility of student and faculty members (both in-person and online) among the Kircher institutions, and with other Jesuit universities around the world.
Finally, the 2020-2021 budget proposal and the structure of contributions presented by the Council was approved.
The Assembly´s agreements will allow our Jesuit Higher Education Network in Europe and the Near East to continue building its communicational infrastructure, foster collaboration among its members through the creations of groups of peers and common projects, and to strengthen the sense of shared apostolic mission identity.