In 2017, the International Federation of Catholic Universities (IFCU), through its research center CIRAD, launched a flagship international project with a view to providing Catholic higher education institutions with a comprehensive framework on university social responsibility (USR) called the Newman Framework. Based on the latter, a whole Assessment system on social responsibility was designed for universities to identify and measure the extent of their responsible policies and practices.
The Pontificia Università Gregoriana in Rome is one of the Catholic universities having participated in the Newman evaluation. You can find the testimony of Dr. Mabel Mercado, Executive Secretary, Quality Commission, here below:
When the academic authorities became aware of this evaluation they enthusiastically welcomed the opportunity to participate because it was an initiative different from the others, whose objective was to promote criteria and values in harmony with the identity of a Pontifical University such as ours.
Our University does not have large numbers, but it is in the heart of Rome and has a markedly international character, with students – around 3000 – and teachers from around 120 countries. In a multicultural environment, where centre and periphery meet, the Gregorian University has a diversified educational offer in its six Faculties, two Institutes and six specialised Centres.
The collection of data and the processing of responses for each part of the evaluation involved the collaboration of many offices and their respective managers. This was an important moment for our university: firstly, this cross-departmental collaboration was a fruitful example of collaboration within the University Community, and secondly, it provided an opportunity to reflect and explore the activities we carry out, the motivations behind them and the ways in which we carry them out.
Some of the Newman questions helped us to make more explicit what we do in the different subject areas but which we often do not communicate publicly in an adequate way, for example, on our institutional website or within the university. Other questions helped us to realise that we need to go deeper into certain aspects.
The evaluation has made us reflect on the added value that our University can offer to the world and to society, and – through the evaluation results and labels we will receive – gives us the opportunity to communicate this to others.
We are very pleased to have been able to participate despite the difficulties linked to the pandemic period we are experiencing.
For more information, you can access the IFCU website – Section University Social Responsibility.