Charter of UNamur - University of Namur

As a University, the UNamur (“University of Namur”) is a place of freedom.

This freedom allows the Institution to assume its responsibility as a University and as a Jesuit University more specifically in fulfilling its missions. Independently of all external control, the University chooses and manages its projects, its freedom being expressed and guaranteed by its institutional autonomy.

The freedom of the Institution requires and implies the respect of collective and individual academic freedom in both teaching and research.

This institutional and academic freedom is exercised in a responsible way; it contributes to the accomplishment of the missions of the University in accordance with the legal requirements and the by-laws of the University.

The UNamur constitutes a community based on collaboration and solidarity; this community comprises students, teaching staff, assistants and researchers, and the members of the administrative, technical, maintenance and ancillary staff. Together and in a dialogue with the Society of Jesus (the “Pouvoir Organisateur”), they endeavour to carry out the missions of the University to the best of their abilities.

* * *

As a University, the UNamur has a triple mission consisting in teaching, research and service to the community.

The primary objective of the University is to train students and researchers as responsible actors in society. In this respect, the UNamur, working in the spirit of Europe’s academic tradition, is “an ideal meeting-ground for teachers capable of imparting their knowledge and well equipped to develop it by research and innovation and students entitled, able and willing to enrich their minds with that knowledge.”[1]

Teaching and research aim to diffuse current knowledge and to produce new knowledge. The UNamur privileges high-quality teaching mobilizing fundamental concepts of knowledge, as well as research which associates its pursuit of excellence with a long-term perspective.

In each discipline, the academic approach to teaching and research requires a permanent self-critical attitude with regard to its objectives and methods. The UNamur provides a platform for this critical search for knowledge and insists that the human and social dimensions of science and technology be taken into account. It seeks to overcome the division and fragmentation of knowledge by stimulating epistemological debate and interdisciplinary dialogue.

The universality of teaching and research and the globalization of society’s problems require universities to be open to each other. The UNamur has helped to establish and collaborates in various international networks, particularly in association with Jesuit universities.

Through its teaching and research and within the limits of its own identity and independence, the University questions society and answers society’s needs. Thus, the UNamur aims to be an agent of change in its region and to contribute to its cultural, social, political and economic development, in partnership with other local actors. Within the University and beyond its walls, it encourages the analysis of the major problems of society, in particular the inequality of opportunities between individuals and between peoples.

* * *

As a Catholic University, the UNamur adheres more specifically to the educational project of the Society of Jesus.

The university community of the UNamur is heir to the values of the humanistic and Jesuit traditions. Strengthened by the intellectual pluralism of its members, it finds in these traditions its inspiration and an understanding of its missions.

In this spirit, the UNamur wishes to train tolerant and caring individuals who are responsible and autonomous, and capable of personal judgment and free choice and action.

In the same spirit, it provides an education that fully appreciates the importance of man’s quest for a better understanding of himself, his life and death, his engagement in the world, his history and the values which underlie the society in which he lives.

The UNamur organizes the dialogue between science, technology, culture and faith in the perspective of their mutual enrichment and invites the university community to take an active part in it. In a free and independent manner, it contributes to bringing the scientific outlook on the problems of today’s world to the attention of society and of the Christian community in particular; the University tries to raise awareness within the scientific community of the relationships between knowledge and the values of the Gospel. Moreover, the UNamur provides places where the message of the Gospel can be conveyed to the university community.

The humanistic and Jesuit heritage makes the UNamur confident in the world and attentive to humanity. Seeking to serve the cause of justice, the University shows a special concern for those whom human history has left impoverished, vulnerable or oppressed. Within the university community, this caring attitude towards others finds expression in the mutual respect and trust of its members and in the acknowledgment of each individual’s contribution to the common project.

Namur, March 17th, 1993


[1] Magna Carta Universitatum, Bologna, 18 September 1988, p.8.