Dr. Óscar Arias, the recipient of the 1987 Nobel Peace Prize and former president of Costa Rica, opened the new academic year at Universidad Europea with a call to incorporate values based education into university degree programs.
During his speech, Arias stressed the importance of education for peace and democracy and elemental for the development and progress of young people in the coming decades. In this sense, the Nobel Peace Prize winner reminded the audience that the university is a key tool for generating knowledge and pedagogy, as well as preparing future generations with the skills they need to adapt to evolving technologies, to understand their rights and develop ethical values. "Universities have been the chests in which knowledge has been saved through history. Today we face the challenge of an open and growing world," said Arias.
The session concluded with a dialogue between Dr. Arias and three students from the Faculty of Social Sciences, who addressed a number of issues such as the Middle East conflict and the state of democracy in Latin America.
Dr. Óscar Arias is considered one of the world's most influential politicians on issues of human progress, peace and democracy. He was elected president of Costa Rica on two occasions, in 1987 and 2005, and created the "Arias Peace Plan" which laid the foundations for lasting peace and the democratization process in Central America. This program earned him the Nobel Peace Prize in 1987. He has also been recognized with the Martin Luther King Jr. Peace Prize, the Medal of Philadelphia Freedom, the Jackson Ralston Prize, the Prince of Asturias Award for International Cooperation, the Albert Schweitzer Humanitarian Award and the Prize of the Americas. Also, his career has been praised by universities like Harvard, Walden and Princeton, who along with nearly 70 other universities around the world have given to Dr. Arias the title of Doctor Honoris Causa. Dr. Arias has also visited several other institutions in the Laureate network, including Universidad Latina de Costa Rica, Universidad Tecnológico de México, Universidad de Las Américas in Ecuador and Universidad del Valle de México.
This article has been translated into English to be shared on the Laureate International Universities website.