The relations between education and development have been extensively discussed in the literature, while the international development framework also reiterates the role of education as a key driver for sustainable development. Since the ‘70’s education was a consistent priority on the donors’ agendas and many short-term objectives have been achieved by the means of international development aid. However, the considerable gap between what it was achieved and could have potentially been achieved started to be discussed more and more by experts and academics. 20 years after the adoption of the United Nations Millennium Declaration and the commitment of 191 states to the achievement of 8 development goals and five years after the redefinition of the development framework through the Sustainable Development Goals, there is still progress to be made in the field of education. Nevertheless, although the international framework witnessed a transition towards a more in-depth approach taking into consideration a global perspective, in practice access to education (measured in terms of enrollment) has quantitatively expanded, while qualitatively it remained rather slow-paced. On the other hand, given the transversal character of the SDGs and the global context, questions regarding the transition from education to learning and to the goals of education for sustainable development are being raised. Only a decade separates us from achieving the SDGs and we can start reshaping the international development framework by reconsidering and redefining the way we act in order to ensure more fairness at global level.

The aim of the I-st International Scholas Chairs SNSPA Congress is to lay the foundation for a more inclusive debate on education and development and consequently to start an explorative and reflexive exercise in regard to the links between education and development by opening it to interpretations that go beyond economic approaches. In achieving this aim, the Congress is open to the participation of teachers, researchers, non-profit and for profit organizations, media, students, community leaders, and members of society who find the event of interest and want to engage in the debate. By bringing together participants from diverse contexts, we hope to bring a valuable contribution to the discussion on the future of education and on the prospective links between education and development.

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The idea of this first edition

This first edition is an initiative of the Scholas Chair within the National University of Political Studies and Public Administration, developed within the framework of the Scholas Chairs network and building upon the conclusions of the general Congress of the Scholas Chairs which reaches the sixth edition this year.

The idea of organizing a Congress, as part of the activities of the Chair, came to us as natural, given the mission we have chosen to embrace when we joined the Scholas Chairs Network. This initiative was designed with the aim of gathering junior and senior researchers, students, as well as affiliated and non-affiliated persons who want to take part in the current debate and the ones that will follow.

Scholas Chairs

The Chairs are spaces of reflection and action connected in a great network, in which each subject (professors, researchers, and students) is enriched by the Encounter with each other.

The goal is to generate concrete cooperation on experiences and case studies that will serve as models to apply in different contexts, developing synergies between universities, schools and projects; as well as to involve students in the process of comprehensive research and generate actions destined to help the community.

Scholas Chairs perform diverse activities:
  • Support for educational and social projects: Scholas Chairs provide educational support and expert consulting for projects placed on Scholas.Social platform, directing them to the pedagogical principles of Scholas.
  • Didactics: Communication of contents produced by Scholas Chairs (through active and motivating methodologies).
  • Research: Professors and students can elaborate a comprehensive research on the subject proposed by the Chairs. It could also involve the development of specific doctorates.
  • Awareness-raising and insertion in public policies: Promoting dissemination, communication and training on the values of the Culture of Encounter in the various areas of society.
    Scholas Chairs Program currently involves 100 universities and 35 observer organizations from 35 countries.

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The National University of Political Studies and Public Administration and the SNSPA

Scholas Chair

The National University of Political Studies and Public Administration (SNSPA) was established in 1991 as a school of governance and training of professionals for essential social areas. Known both nationally and internationally, SNSPA is a state institution of higher education, scientific research and professional academic training offering undergraduate degrees, master’s degrees and doctoral studies. SNSPA trains and develops professional competencies in Political Sciences, Sociology, Administrative Studies, International Relations, Diplomacy, European Studies, Communication Sciences, Psychology, Management, Human Resources, thus contributing to change at national and international level, a change based on democratic values and principles.

The Scholas Chair within the National University of Political Studies and Public Administration was opened in March 2019 and is coordinated by Prof. Dr. Iordan Barbulescu and coordinates its activities within the Scholas Chairs Network.

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