Marist Higher Education - Br Sean Sammon
The second keynote address at our Marist Higher Education Conference held recently in the Philippines was delivered by Br Sean Sammon, currently Scholar in Residence at Marist College Poughkeepsie and former Superior General of the Marist Brothers. Sean spoke on the topic: Future Vision for Global Higher Education Institutions. He began with two facts: 1. More people attend university in this century than in all prior human history 2. Most of the capacity for, and facilities to accommodate the demand, are yet to be built.
Sean outlined five basic purposes of Marist Higher Education:
1. A means of evangelising the young, and the not so young;
2. A system that has a special place for the materially poor;
3. A way of providing formation for life rather than solely for work;
4. A means of fostering within individuals a responsibility for the human community rather than solely self-gain and
5. A manifestation of the meaning of a practical Christianity.
Sean sees Marist Higher Education helping to provide the skills needed for the new global economy. These are
1. Be a lifelong learner
2. Be at home with technology
3. Have well developed writing and speaking skills
4. Have the capacity to cope with new ideas and outlooks
5. Be an independent thinker.
Finally Sean observed that because we live in a period of rapid change the demand for access to higher education is increasing, and will continue to do so.