Speaking at the official launch of Faith in Higher Education, the Church of England’s lead bishop for Higher Education, Tim Dakin, who is the Bishop of Winchester, said:
“Higher Education is at a crossroads. Shaping its overall vision is therefore as crucial as the issues of funding and governance and of recognising anew its contribution to social mobility and economic prosperity.
“This Vision is a fresh articulation of what higher education is for: It offers a faith-based hope for humanising higher education: as enriching both the student and common good of all.”
Faith in Higher Education sets out to stimulate leaders across higher education to re-examine how they articulate its purpose, to enrich understanding with a Christian perspective, illuminate values, and challenge all involved to transformative action.
The Vision explores the themes of wisdom, community, virtue, the common good, and how these contribute to an understanding of religion and belief, faith perspectives and spirituality in the context of higher education today and how this can be shared by people of all faiths and world views.
How is the church involved In Higher Education?
- Until the 19th century, all British universities were religious foundations, and The Church of England has maintained this long-standing involvement, with the presence of around 1,000 Anglican chaplains across higher education institutions in England supporting students and staff of all faiths and none.
- The Church wants to see people flourishing in all aspects of their lives. For us that means working with government departments and agencies that oversee universities and colleges, getting involved in national debates about what universities are for.
- Chaplains are there for all – staff or students – and for those of all faiths and none.
- We provide training, professional development for new and continuing chaplains, mentoring and a range of resources to support chaplains. We also offer advice to dioceses and universities on appointing chaplains and faith advisers.
The Cathedrals Group
There are 15 universities which were originally set up to train teachers for church schools. All are now universities in their own right and 12 of them include a Church of England foundation. They educate around 100,000 students a year, 40% of which are mature learners and train between one third and one half of all teachers in the country.