22 SES 12 E, The Role of Churches in Higher Education in four Central and Eastern European Countries
Investigating the role of churches in higher education through spatial and temporal dimensions, we met a broad range of concepts (Ramet 1998, Schanda 2011, Adamski 2012). On the one hand, there are views stating that denominations are not in the need of separate higher education institutions. According to this approach, higher education institutions that own academic freedom allow scientific views on any ideological basis to exist. A version of this concept states that parallel denominational units may exist within the same state-maintained institution in any general scientific fields, especially in the case of ideology-sensitive disciplines (philosophy, pedagogy, etc.). On the other hand the minority denominations repressed for long years or lack the religious freedom at state-maintained universities, are entitled to train their own intellectual generation, and there are unique fields of training within that particularly important area for denominations because of their special social responsibility. These singular fields include educational, social and healthcare trainings. After the political transition new church related HE institutions occurred in the post-communist countries. Even the most notable higher education researchers in the West consider this change only as a quantitative growth in one segment of the private sector and they do not perceive the qualitative change of the situation (Altbach 1999). To model the current conditions, we improved the Clark’s triangle-model, to which we added the fourth pole (church) that commands special expectation and values besides the state, academic and labour centres (Pusztai 2010). The church related higher education does not belong to those private establishments that follow market logic and they show strong individual feature in addition to several common features. There is a difference between post-socialist countries in point of the extended range of potential school-maintainers, as in orthodox countries, denominations cannot establish schools but their foundations (Molnár 2008, Murvai 2008). The denominations had a vision of their higher educational tasks. Therefore church-run higher education affected areas that were most controlled ideologically or were most closed socially before (teacher, lawyer training) as well as areas that suit the traditional public responsibilities and roles (social, educational, healthcare professions) of denominations.This new challenges of church related higher education in Central and Eastern European region (Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and Romania) are the subject of our symposium.
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