Knowledge alone is not everything... On values and responsibility of university

Wiesław Banyś


The article discusses the issues of values and social responsibility of universities. On the one hand, the foundations of functioning of universities, which are created by research and education and the role of universities in formation, are recalled.  On the other hand, it was reminded that the heart of universities, their DNA, are academic values, defined primarily in the Magna Charta Universitatum, but also in many other documents, such as the Code of Values of the Jagiellonian University. Hence, universities are increasingly often referred to not only as universities of knowledge, but also as universities of wisdom. Together, they are the basis for the social responsibility of universities.  However, they alone are not enough for this social responsibility to materialise.  Appropriate behaviour and actions are essential.  Because knowledge alone is not everything.  Such actions are always necessary, but especially when we find ourselves, as a country, humanity and a planet, in a crisis situation related to the climate disaster, which we are already partially experiencing. After the presentation of the most important current facts related to the climate and environmental crisis, the tasks to be undertaken urgently in this context by universities were presented, from broadly understood education, through convincing politicians to ambitious and quick actions, to intensive work on innovative solutions that can contribute to reducing threats brought by the climate and environmental crisis, pointing out, among others, the initiatives proposed by the newly created network of universities U7.


knowledge; education; values; codes; ethics; climate crisis; environment; pollution; responsibility of university

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