Group Picture - JHEASA 2018 Annual Conference, Chennai

Report of JHEASA Annual Conference on October, 2018

EDITOR’S NOTE: by Fr. Joye James, S.J., Secretary, Jesuit Higher Education in South Asia.

68 participants including 9 lay principals, attended JHEASA annual conference held at Dhyana Ashram, Chennai on 19-20 October, 2018.  The Theme for the Conference was “Transforming Our World Together”.

"The university education is aimed at universal citizenship"

Fr Xavier Alphonse welcomed the delegates and highlighted the salient features of Fr. General’s address at the Basilica of Loyola, on July 11, 2018 as he inaugurated the International Association of Jesuit Universities (IAJU). According to Fr. General, a university has to be a source of reconciled life.  It should be a project for social transformation, networking and collaboration.  The aim of our educational apostolate is to create men and women committed to social research.  There is creative loyalty and collaboration.  The university education is aimed at universal citizenship.  Our identity, with deep Ignatian Spirituality is our contribution. 

After this Fr. Francis Xavier made a presentation on JWL (Jesuit World-wide Learning).  He said that JWL form students, and they become agents of transformation.  The vision is that we learn together to transform the world. The mission is to provide quality tertiary education.  JWL has community learning centers in different parts of the world.  It is a digital academic programme with high quality.  JWL’s impact is on critical thinking and social leadership. 

After this, four presentations were made by Frs. Joe Arun, Selva Rathinam, PR John and A Selvaraj.  Fr. Joe Arun’s presentation was on Forming Ignatian Leaders in our Colleges.  We need people who are fully capable of leading universities and colleges.  They should be Ignatian, characterized by Ignatian way of proceeding.  Fr Selva Rathinam’s presentation was on Ecology and Justice. He brought in the Integral Ecology by Pope Francis. Fr PR John’s presentation was on Civic and Political Leadership. Fr Selvaraj emphasized the need for educating the poor and the marginalized. After this we had group discussion and general session based on these themes.

The second day began with Eucharist at 7 am by Fr Jossie Lobo and the session was at 9.00 am with a talk by Fr. Binoy Jacob, Director, LIPI, Kochi, on Peace and Reconciliation.  Fr. Vincent Braganza shared his experience on his Afghanistan visit. After coffee break there was the presentation of Best Practices in our colleges by 8 colleges, followed by sectoral group discussion on networking and collaboration among colleges of different sectors, namely the Autonomous college, Non-Autonomous colleges, B Ed Colleges and Management Institutes, Engineering and Law Colleges.    

After lunch, during the business session the following decisions were made for follow up:

  1. JHEASA training for young teachers in May 2019.
  2. Training for Vice-Principals by St Joseph’s college, Trichy in May 2019.
  3. Training of student leaders by AICUF national office, Chennai.
  4. The next JHEASA conference will be in Kolkata in October 2019.

The conference ended with evaluation and vote of thanks by Fr. Joye James. We thank Fr Andrew Francis, Principal Loyola College, Chennai for making all the arrangements and Dhyana Ashram community for their wonderful hospitality.