UWN’s SDGs Hub
None of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs can be achieved without the contribution of higher education through research, teaching and community engagement. University World News has set up this SDGs Hub to share best practice and report on the impact and challenges of this work.
Latest Stories
Nothing short of a human revolution would be an appropriate response to the depths of the multiple crises humanity faces. Yet universities are legacies of an era of monastic, hierarchical and siloed teaching and learning approaches. How can they be reinvented to become transformative?
Climate Action
The introduction of a carbon footprint score defined by the transparency of a university in its reporting would enable universities to compete with each other not only in respect of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, but by increasing the transparency and availability of data.
Climate Change and COP27
The harassment of mainly female climate scientists and other researchers who talk about their work in the media – both mainstream and social – is having a chilling effect on their willingness to communicate their findings in the public space, a recent survey has found.
PHOTO An estimated 1,750 global institutional members of the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network, including universities and research centres, are to contribute expertise to the Global Climate Hub, Phoebe Koundouri, a professor at the Athens University of Economics and Business, told delegates at COP27.
PHOTO In an effort to accelerate climate adaptation across Africa, Egypt will host the Cairo Centre for Learning and Excellence on Adaptation and Resilience. Its establishment, with US$10 million to support the launch, was announced by Sameh Shoukry, the president of COP27 and Egypt’s foreign minister.
Access and Inclusion
Universities have been urged to ‘think ahead’ when serving students with disabilities, many of whom find that the systems in place are overly procedural and put the onus on students to come forward to provide evidence of disability – a process many find daunting.
PHOTO United States universities can learn from their Canadian counterparts when it comes to private refugee sponsorship programmes, and can use these to support and equip student leaders to be partners in sustainable humanitarian action within the higher education system.
PHOTO A new book examining the experience of graduate students shows that far from being bastions of intellectual inquiry and meritocracy, elite universities in Britain and the United States do a good job of reproducing the ethnic, racial and class divisions central to their societies.
Gender Equity
Three years ago all the university presidents in Ireland were men. But from this May male presidents will be in a minority as seven of the country’s 13 universities will be headed by women, representing a remarkable turnaround for gender parity in higher education.
Partnerships for the SDGs
A consortium of nine American and European universities led by the United Kingdom’s University of Cambridge has won a US$35 million grant from Bill and Melinda Gates Agricultural Innovations for research work in Africa – an initiative that is raising eyebrows over the level of participation of local collaborators.
Student View
While education workers, educational institutions and civil society have been well represented in the governance structures of international education, the democratic voice of secondary and tertiary student unions has been formally absent for decades. But there are good reasons to believe that is changing.
PHOTO This week sees the most significant political event for education in recent years: the United Nations Transforming Education Summit. Young people have fought hard for the inclusion of climate education and, hopefully, this will be visible in the results of the summit.
PHOTO Florence Jedidiah Mulenga has addressed a United Nations Commission conference about supporting girls in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics space, has won numerous awards and has developed a concept to tackle asthma and hypertension. Next, the fifth-year pharmacy student wants to focus on taking innovations from Africa to a global market.
World Higher Education Conference 2022
The third UNESCO World Higher Education Conference was held in Barcelona in Spain from 18 to 20 May 2022. The theme was Reinventing Higher Education for a Sustainable Future and the plan was to forge a common roadmap for higher education to 2030. University World News is the exclusive media partner for the conference.
PHOTO A groundbreaking UNESCO analysis, which shows the considerable scale of international aid flows to higher education, also reveals the magnitude of the geographical divide between the Global North and Global South and raises questions about who really benefits from such aid.
PHOTO UNESCO Director General Audrey Azoulay described higher education as a public good and a human right at the UNESCO World Higher Education Conference 2022. This prompted delegates to ask what the right to higher education means in practice and which other rights are needed to deliver on this?
PHOTO The agenda for higher education internationalisation in the Middle East and North Africa or MENA is lagging behind other regions. Some 4.5% of all students in the region were internationally mobile in 2019, but most of that mobility was one way – outward bound – the World Higher Education Conference 2022 was told.
PHOTO How to provide lifelong learning is not a new topic and it has been on the agenda for decades in regions such as Europe. But the advent of SDG 4 has given a new impetus and created a new sense of awareness among universities of their role in providing this form of learning.
SDGs and Agenda 2030
The 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs were adopted by all 193 member states of the United Nations in September 2015. They represent an urgent call to action through global cooperation to achieve transformative changes for the world by 2030.
Sustainability Rankings
Work already done towards the development of internationally comparable ‘education for sustainable development’ or ESD indicators – currently missing from all of the existing higher education sustainability rankings – suggests that universities need to select sustainability indicators mindfully, aligned with their own needs rather than latest trends.
From our Archive: Top Stories on SDGs
Female enrolment in higher education has tripled globally between 1995 and 2018. However, recent research has provided evidence that the gender gap in higher education has declined very little in recent decades and closely matches the continued gender inequality in the labour market.
PHOTO None of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs – the internationally agreed framework for tackling poverty, inequality, disease and climate change – can be achieved without the contribution of higher education through research, teaching and community engagement, networks representing 2,000 universities have told the UN.
PHOTO Now is the time for the international community to recognise the fundamental importance of higher education to achieving all 17 Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs and for universities to dedicate themselves to helping the world achieve them, say leaders of three global university associations.
Regional Sponsor
Sponsored Article
PHOTO In the publication of its first progress report on its contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals, the University of Pretoria is navigating new territory at the same time as it is acknowledging its clear stewardship role in protecting the environment and biodiversity. Promoted by the University of Pretoria.
Sponsored Article
PHOTO Water scarcity has long been an issue in countries such as the United Arab Emirates. But the country’s National Water and Energy Center, based at the United Arab Emirates University, is providing solutions for the efficient exploration, development, use, storage and sustainability of the precious resource. Promoted by United Arab Emirates University.