Challenges in sight for Jesuit Higher Education in the post-Covid era

The IAJU Board (International Association of Jesuit Universities) met over the course of three days (March 14-16) by zoom. The meeting was co-animated by the present Secretary, Fr. Joseph Christie, and his predecessor, Fr. Michael Garanzini. Father General opened the meeting with words of encouragement and gratitude for all those who have worked diligently to keep our universities open and available for students during these two years of the pandemic. He also shared with the members his observations and the directions that Higher Education Institutions should take today. In addition, he asked the members for advice and for recommendations on how he can inspire and give direction to IAJU members who will be coming to Boston for the Assembly, in August, later this year.

The board then reviewed the proposed agenda. Six task forces are prepared to give their reports and offer recommendations for the apostolate of Jesuit higher education. The subject areas that will be addressed at the Assembly are migration, global citizenship education, the role of theology, environmental sustainability and education, peace and reconciliation, and the challenge to democracy,which is evident in many parts of the world. How should Jesuit institutions commit to addressing these challenges in a post-Covid environment?

Fr. Garanzini reported that nearly 100 vouchers have been distributed to assist those needing support for travel to Boston and for room and board while attending the Assembly. Boston College has graciously offered to host and to sponsor several banquets during these days.


The IAJU Board also heard from two groups organizing Jesuit schools of engineering. ICAM, a French based non-profit with deep Jesuit roots presented its plan to increase the number of engineering schools globally. ICAM has already sponsored several engineering programs through collaborating with schools in India, Africa, and Brazil, and is open to sharing its expertise in this field with other countries. The new international association of Jesuit engineering schools, founded with participation of 40 schools of engineering also shared its plans for expansion and recruitment. IAJU is fortunate to have this group, as well as the associations of Jesuit Business Schools and the association of Directors of International Programs as networks affiliated with IAJU.

On its third day of meetings, the IAJU Board began looking at the development of a new strategic plan. While the Assembly will provide an opportunity for delegates to deliberate the future direction of IAJU, the board is assessing progress on the first plan adopted at the Deusto Assembly in 2018. The hope is to offer ideas for deliberation on how IAJU can expand its contributions to Jesuit education and advance our contribution to addressing the world’s most difficult challenges, assist the Church in its mission, and bring students to a deeper understanding of the role they can play when equipped with a Jesuit education.

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Posted by Communications Office - Editor in Curia Generalizia
Communications Office
The Communications Office of the General Curia publishes news of international scope on the central government of the Society of Jesus and on the commitments of the Jesuits and their partners. It also handles media relations.

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