Worldwide Universities Convene in Milan to Push for More Inclusive Education

, by Tomaso Eridani
On April 11/12 Bocconi will host the Presidential Summit of the U7+ alliance to discuss concrete action to promote inclusive higher education and produce a constructive contribution to present to the G7

Over 80 participants from 45 universities around the world will convene in Bocconi this week for the sixth Annual U7+ Presidential Summit with the aim of promoting the importance and impact of inclusive education, and facilitating global access, at the upcoming G7 summit in June.

The U7+ Presidential Summit is the annual meeting of the U7+ Alliance, the coalition of university presidents from Europe, Asia, North America, South America, Africa and Australia dedicated to defining concrete, collective actions universities can take to address global challenges. The Summit gives universities the opportunity to engage as global actors, in coordination with government leaders in G7 countries and beyond and weigh in on the challenges addressed at G7 Summits. Founded in 2019, the U7+ Alliance today includes 54 universities from 19 countries on 6 continents.

"The U7+ alliance is fundamental to get universities' voices heard at a global and multilateral level and with a really global participation at the meeting here in Milan this will be a unique opportunity," says Catherine De Vries, Dean for International Affairs at Bocconi. "U7 aims in fact to tackle the most pressing global issues and engage with the G7 to make sure universities share knowledge and best practices to serve society at best."

The title of the meeting in Bocconi is 'Inclusive Education for Inclusive Societies' and discussions will center in fact on the value of facilitating global access to higher education, how it can foster more inclusive societies and promote prosperity, development and societal progress. All with the aim of providing G7 leaders with a constructive contribution of the higher education sector to the global agenda.

"Economic and technological development and innovation are best served by the best and diverse minds and so it is crucial that universities promote inclusive education," comments De Vries. "Universities do everything they can but there are some global issues that act as barriers to accessing higher education and that need to be tackled at a higher global level."

The summit will also tackle other pressing issues such as climate change and sustainability and the challenges and opportunities of AI.

As with other Summits, participants will draw up a Statement to be presented to the Italian government, who is hosting this year's G7 Summit, with concrete recommendations and proposals for the G7 governments in view of their summit in June.