A recent University World News article spotlights an OSUN/Talloires Network of Engaged Universities collaboration supporting an online global community of practice for engaged researchers who center the expertise of community collaborators in their work.Read more
Seeking Solutions and Changing Minds: Get Engaged 2022 Student Presenters Speak
From addressing child labor practices in West Africa and health gaps in Lebanon, to assisting stigmatized groups in Bangladesh and Kyrgyzstan, the student projects presented at the Get Engaged 2022 Conference at AUCA in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan on June 23-30 demonstrated a strong commitment to community engagement and to assisting underserved groups.Read more
Applications Open for OSUN Leadership Fellows
Students who hold leadership positions, or are interested in furthering their leadership skills, are invited to apply for the OSUN Leadership Fellows Program. Deadline to apply is Sunday, April 30. Learn more and apply
Funding for Student-Created Civic Engagement Case Studies
OSUN's Visual Storytelling for Civic Engagement team is offering two funding opportunities to support student filmmakers in the creation of new video or written case studies. With the case studies, OSUN faculty provide active learning and meaningful opportunities to their students, making classes more visual and impactful.Read more
Global Engagement Fellows Annual Magazine Centers Student Catalysts
“Learn Today, Lead Tomorrow,” by Global Engagement Fellow Hala Alanani, explains how Al-Quds Bard College students created Investapeer Academy, an online peer tutoring platform that seeks to “make education a right rather than a luxury.” Read this and other inspiring stories in the Global Engagement Fellows Annual Magazine.Read more
Global Commons Fall 2022 Issue
The Fall 2022 issue of student-led digital publication Global Commons features 60 multimedia works from students at 18 partner institutions, including essays, articles, creative writing, video, and artwork.READ MORE
Young Leaders and the Future of Civic Engagement
OSUN's Spring 2023 Civic Engagement and Social Action Course sponsored a roundtable discussion with three young changemakers: David Hogg, co-founder, March for Our Lives; Sana Mustafa, CEO Asylum Access; and Korvi Rakshand, Founder and CEO, JAAGO Foundation. These young leaders have come through extreme circumstances to be agents of change. They advocate, inspire, and teach others about engagement and their voices are essential to social evolution.
During the 2021/2022 academic year, OSUN's highly adaptable and integrated partnership model allowed rapid responses to crises and challenges around the globe while expanding access to higher education and fostering civic engagement among its 45 member institutions.READ MORE
Is the University in Crisis? Addressing Threats to Undergraduate Liberal Arts & Sciences Education
At a talk sponsored by OSUN's Liberal Arts and Sciences Collaborative, Samuel Abraham, co-founder of the European Consortium of Liberal Arts and Sciences, said the rise in prominence of global ranking systems, the devaluation of teaching, and the propensity for undergraduate specialization were key issues bringing into question the purpose of undergraduate liberal arts education.
The Open Society University Network (OSUN) is a global partnership of educational institutions that integrates learning and the advancement of knowledge--in the social sciences, the humanities, the sciences and the arts, on undergraduate and graduate levels--across geographic and demographic boundaries, promotes civic engagement on behalf of open societies, and expands access to higher education for underserved communities.
OSUN builds on the accomplishments of several major initiatives in higher education supported by the Open Society Foundations (OSF). In the 1990s, OSF’s Higher Education Support Program (HESP) effectively served as a Marshall Plan for higher education in Central and Eastern Europe. CEU, founded in 1991, became a unique model in graduate education, combining cutting-edge research and research-based teaching with a focused social mission.
For almost 30 years, OSF has supported innovative cooperation between CEU and Bard College, and between their respective national and international networks. During this period, OSF has contributed to the development of groundbreaking higher education institutions, first in Central and Eastern Europe, and then globally. OSF also supported a program of fellowships in higher education that has intellectually empowered tens of thousands of students and educators throughout the world.
The Open Society Foundations (OSF) is an international grant-making network that supports civil society groups around the world, with the aim of advancing justice, education, public health and independent media. Since its inception, in 1993, it has contributed:
$15.2 billion in total expenditures
50,000+ grants to organizations, scholars, and activists in 120+ countries
Although originally focused in the 1990s on Central and Eastern Europe, Eurasia, South Africa, and Myanmar, OSF has since expanded its network to Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East, and had a budget of $1.1 billion in 2019.
OSF’s Higher Education Support Program initiated a massive undertaking to reform research and teaching in the social sciences and humanities at universities across Central and Eastern Europe and Eurasia in the 1990s. It has since expanded this program to over 50 colleges and universities around the world, with the aim of promoting academic freedom, university autonomy, equal and open access to knowledge and education, student-centered learning, service to the community, and transparent, inclusive governance. This program has yielded significant advances, including:
The creation of beachheads of intellectual freedom and critical enquiry at some of its core grantee institutions, such as the American University of Central Asia and American University in Bulgaria.
Improvements in the quality of the liberal arts curriculum and pedagogy at the American University of Central Asia, European Humanities University, Al-Quds Bard College, and St. Petersburg University’s Faculty of Liberal Arts, in partnership with Bard.
The introduction of innovative models of access to higher education in the Dadaab and Kakuma refugee camps in Kenya.
The establishment of independent external testing system for admissions at Ukrainian universities, which have combat the paying of bribes for student places.
As part of its efforts to expand access to higher education and empowered educators around the world, OSF has provided close to 20,000 scholarships and research grants since the 1980s - with awards in 42 countries, ranging from Haiti to Angola, Eritrea, Egypt, Afghanistan, and Cambodia.
OSF has also demonstrated its deep commitment to academic freedom through its early and long-standing support for scholars who are threatened or imprisoned because of their work. It was a founding contributor to the Scholar Rescue Fund and is a leading supporter of the Scholars at Risk network.