Global projects to respond to global challenges

Today different projects were presented to the IAJU Assembly. All of them share the intention to fulfil ambitious goals for the mission of Jesuit universities, but they are in very different stages of development. Some of them are already official IAJU or Society of Jesus projects whereas others are collaboration experiences between institutions and are being offered to new members.

Firstly, Michael J. Garanzini SJ presented the new digital platform of the International Association of Jesuit Universities. This robust website will provide a wide variety of services and collaboration opportunities for the institutional members of the International Association of Jesuit Universities. It has pages for each regional association, documents, publications, conferences, as well as content produced by the different working groups of the Assembly.

Magis Exchange is a new multilateral student exchange program. It offers a semester-long international exchange and internship/service learning/volunteering program, with the purpose of promoting “men and women for others”. The IAJU Assembly has afforded an opportunity to invite all the Jesuit universities to join this new project.

Alpha Sigma Nu is the Honor Society of Jesuit colleges and universities. Its purpose is to recognize students at Jesuit institutions of higher education who are outstanding for their scholarship, loyalty and service. A valued tradition in America, Honor Societies are quite a new thing in other contexts. However, launching a Jesuit Honor Society on a global scale might offer a good opportunity to promote the ideals of Jesuit education.

The Office of Discernment and Apostolic Planning established by the Fr. General just after General Congregation 36 presented an Ignatian Leadership program with four modules that will be soon available on the internet. A meeting of experts will be held next year in Rome to further develop the project.

Jesuit Worldwide Learning is a project that offers tertiary education for refugees and underprivileged communities. It promotes online courses that give people across the world the opportunity to acquire professional and academic knowledge. JWL currently has more than 4,000 students.

The experience of networking among Jesuit secondary and pre-secondary schools was also presented to the IAJU Assembly, suggesting new collaboration opportunities between schools and universities.

And finally, a meeting was held with those interested in a project titled IWR–Ignatian Word reference: a new technology platform –still under construction– that will make it possible to consult a complete catalogue of Ignatian terms in different languages.

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