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By Eduardo Garrido, Director of Santander Universities US

Cheryl de la Rey (Vice Chancellor and Principal of the University of Pretoria in South Africa, and Vice Chair of the Talloires Network Steering Committee), Eduardo Garrido, Reeta Roy (CEO of MasterCard Foundation), and Rob Hollister (Executive Director of the Talloires Network).

Cheryl de la Rey (Vice Chancellor and Principal of the University of Pretoria in South Africa, and Vice Chair of the Talloires Network Steering Committee), Eduardo Garrido, Reeta Roy (CEO of MasterCard Foundation), and Rob Hollister (Executive Director of the Talloires Network).

As a longtime supporter of the Talloires Network, I have watched this global alliance of higher education institutions flourish over the years. Since Santander Universities’ initial sponsorship of the program in 2010, the Talloires Network has grown to more than 350 members in 75 countries around the world. This is quite an accomplishment! So, when I learned that the Network’s 10th Anniversary Celebration was taking place in September, I was excited to have the opportunity to share my perspective at the event with leaders in higher education, philanthropy, and international development.

The Talloires Network continues to play a key role in building civically engaged and socially responsible higher education institutions. If your organization is interested in supporting the higher education industry, I highly recommend considering the Talloires Network. This international association is a pioneer in advocating for the expansion of civic engagement in academia.

Fostering Connections with Institutions

Much like Santander Universities, which has partnerships with more than 1,200 universities in South America, North America, Europe, and Asia, the Talloires Network understands the importance of global connections. In fact, many of the Network’s members are also a part of Santander Universities. Clearly, both Santander and the Talloires Network value the power of forging campus connections to address pressing social and economic issues from poverty and public health to the environment.

Rethinking the Role of Higher Education

As the host of the Talloires Network, Tufts University continues to establish itself as a transformative research university. Members and partners of the Network are not just sharing knowledge and findings; they are implementing solutions for collective action. They want to equip higher education institutions with the tools they need by identifying trends and breaking down walls between disciplines.

Documenting Examples of Best Practices

There are countless universities that are already promoting a lifelong commitment to civic engagement and social innovation and it is important to highlight their best practices. Many are already members of the Talloires Network. For instance, Tufts University’s own 1+4 Bridge-Year Service Learning Program helps first-year students develop their civic skills. During a ‘gap year’ of service, students engage in meaningful community service activities, which allows them  to think in new ways and return to Tufts with experiences that will shape their focus for future academic study and career exploration.