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Keynote – Public Engagement and University: Complicated History, Uncertain Present and Open Future

May 15 @ 10:30 am - 11:00 am

University has recently become a focal point of attention globally – many in the media and politics criticize its current shape and attempt to change its future course of development. This attention has rarely to do with the question of the relevance of one of the oldest existing institutions to today’s radical societal and technological transformations. Universities get attention because of the way they engage in the public sphere. In contexts as distinct from each other as the USA, Hungary, or Russia, a university’s place and role in society is put into question or, in worst cases, prescribed. By going back to the past and often forgotten tradition of theorizing the university, this presentation will try to come to the present issues with some new perspectives.


Prof. Giga Zedania was a Rector of Ilia State University (Tbilisi, Georgia) from 2014 to 2022. Before, he served as the Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences and the Head of the Quality Assurance Service at Ilia State University, where he has been teaching as an associate and then as a full professor since 2006. Since 2022, he has been the Director of the Center for Advanced Studies. He studied philosophy, sociology and cultural studies in Georgia, USA, Hungary and Germany, obtaining his PhD from Ruhr University Bochum. His publications range from European intellectual history to the socio-political transformation of the South Caucasus. He served as the President of the Black Sea University Network (2016-2018). Prof. Giga Zedania has been a member of the Governing Council of the Magna Charta Observatory (MCO) since November 19th, 2020.


May 15
10:30 am - 11:00 am
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