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(ANS – Rome) – Over 70 people, Salesians and lay people from various countries are taking part in the VI Assembly of the Salesian Institutes for Higher Education (IUS), being held at the Salesianum in Rome. Organised by the Youth Ministry Department it will examine the present situation and plan for the future.
Yesterday 9 July afternoon and evening were spent welcoming those arriving and introducing the Assembly. This morning Fr Fabio Attard, Councillor for Youth Ministry spoke at the first working session and Brother Mario Olmos SDB the coordinator presented the programme for the coming days.
Prof. Ernesto González Enders, from the ENLACES – UNESCO-IESALC Project gave the first formal address presenting the international situation regarding Higher Education entitled “Trends, challenges and quality projects in Higher Education.” The second was given by Prof. Fabio Reis, Director of the Lorena Campus of the Salesian University Centre of San Pablo – UNISAL entitled “Institutional Identity and Leadership in Catholic Universities,” presenting the situation regarding Catholic Higher Education. In the afternoon according to the programme Brother Mario Olmos will give a presentation of “The Policies for a Salesian Presence in Higher Education,” tracing the progress of the IUS between 2003 and the present.
The Assembly is due to conclude of Saturday 14 July with the presentation and approval of the documents on “The Policies for a Salesian Presence in Higher Education 2012-2020” and of the Common Programme, 2012-2020; and with the election of the members of the Executive Committee of the IUS. The Rector Major, Fr Pascual Chávez Villanueva will preside at a concluding Mass.
Salesian involvement in the University field arises as a response to the needs of the world, of society and of the Church. The University is an area typically for the young. Young people who need to find their place in the world of work deserve the best cultural and professional preparation. Time at University is a special opportunity for the formation of individuals, of leaders, of animators, of vocations lay, religious, priestly and for the family. Salesians consider that university education makes a decisive contribution to the international, political and economic worlds. The future of a country depends in large measure to the education it offers and to its quality. In an ever more secularised world the University is also necessary a vital form of Christian presence.