Universidad Panamericana | VIII International Scholas Chairs Congress
VIII International Scholas Chairs Congress

ZAPOPAN, Jalisco; September 29, 2023. Universidad Panamericanawith the support of the School of Pedagogy and Psycho-pedagogywas the venue for the VIII International Scholas Cátedras Congress, which was held from September 27 to 29 with the presence of guests from different countries, such as Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Albania, Spain, the United States, the Netherlands, among others.

VIII International Scholas Chairs Congress

What is the Scholas Congress?

Scholas is a movement that seeks to transform education and the university as an institution. The event brings together universities from different countries that share the vision that higher education should be at the service of society and the problems it faces. Although the participants come from diverse professions and disciplines, they all share a commitment to renew the university and put teaching and research at the service of the community.

VIII International Scholas Chairs Congress

Emergence of the Scholas Congress

In 2001, Argentina was experiencing the greatest political, social and economic crisis of the last century, half of the country was below the poverty line, there was violence and death in the streets and the collective feeling was summed up in the popular cry: "They're all out of here!

Pope Francis, at that time Archbishop of the city of Buenos Aires, decided to gather two trusted educators and ask them to go in search of those who absorb, retain and then express as best they could any social reality: adolescents.

The first "School of Neighbors" was born there, and the first "Sister Schools", which would later be launched to the world as "Scholas Citizenship". Neither protesting to those who we believe have to change, nor lamenting and resigning ourselves because nothing can be done: giving ourselves, taking risks, meeting and creating another way of being together, of living and building our society.

From that moment on, Scholas travels around the world listening to young people and starting with them on a path of real transformation to concrete problems in their realities.

VIII International Scholas Chairs Congress

Congress in figures

There was one guest from Albania; 23 from Argentina; one from Austria; 10 from Brazil; 3 from Chile; 5 from Colombia; 2 from El Congo; one from China; one from Cuba; one from the Dominican Republic; 5 from Spain; one from Guatemala; one from India; one from Israel; 3 from Italy; 129 from Mexico; one from the Netherlands; one from Poland; one from the United Kingdom; and one from the United States. A total of 193 guests from 73 institutions were invited .

VIII International Scholas Chairs Congress

Testimonials from the Congress

Originally from Argentina, Dr. Daniel Stigliano, International Coordinator of Scholas Cátedras, shared his vision and experiences as a volunteer of the movement.

"All the spaces are spaces that are not static, they are participatory, everyone has the possibility to take the microphoneto be heard, to express themselves, to ask questions," he emphasized.

After the end of the Congress, Dr. Stigliano emphasized that "I, at least, leave with the desire to continue deepening all the topics we have been discussing and not to stop at this, that the problems must be looked at from the University not as something theoretical but with the mentality that the University can be a key for society to find solutions to its problems".

Gerald Catero, a professor at Fordham University in New York, said he has been at the Scholas Congress since its inception, emphasizing that the event began as "a mustard seed and now it is global, it is all over the world".

Regarding his experience in the Panamericana, Gerald has described it as "great.great"as he has the opportunity to "meet with all my colleagues once again, share stories, especially share the concept that the university is a bridge to the world.meet with all my colleagues once again, share stories, especially share the concept that the university is a bridge, that it allows students to not only take classes at the university, but to go out into the world and experience the world.that allows students to not only take classes at the university, but to go out into the world and have wonderful experiences.

VIII International Scholas Chairs Congress

Why choose Universidad Panamericana as a venue?

Universidad Panamericana was one of the first five universities to join the network of Scholas Chairs, which currently includes approximately 150 institutions. A year ago, Panamericana invited Scholas to hold the congress on Mexican soil, which represents a unique opportunity to share experiences and knowledge in this country.

VIII International Scholas Chairs Congress

University of Sense

During the opening of the Scholas Congress, the announcement of the creation of the University of Sense, approved by Pope Francis, was made. Professor José María del Corral, World Director and Founder of the Scholas Occurrentes Movement, shared the following:

"Just on the eve of the beginning of the Congress, comes the great news, officially announced yesterday by the Vatican. Pope Francis has signed the creation of the University of Sense and has entrusted Scholas to everyone. Now it is up to us to respond to so much trust, to assume so much responsibility. The theme of our congress began by imagining a new university within the universities in which we already are, but these days will undoubtedly also be a work, a workshop that will help us to dream together the University of Sense.

Next steps after the Scholas Congress at Panamerican University

The next Scholas congress will be held in another country and university in a year's time. The main objective is to share and expand on all the work done by the universities throughout the year. Scholas seeks for participants to connect and collaborate in the implementation of the ideas and themes discussed at the congress, such as intergenerational dialogue, practice in real contexts and the contribution of innovation and technology generated in universities to society.

The Scholas Congress represents an important step in the search for a higher education that is more in tune with the needs of society and that promotes an active engagement of universities in the resolution of global problems.

VIII International Scholas Chairs Congress

Message from Pope Francis

At the end of the Congress, the Holy Father delivered the following message:

"You who are working in this meeting of the University of Meaning organized by Scholas and the authorities of the Universidad Panamericana, I send you my greetings and my blessing. A good education, a true education has to be on the move, and what you are doing is moving a lot".

The Universidad Panamericana would like to thank the speakers, professors and attendees for attending the VIII International Scholas Cátedras Congress.