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Young scientists, researchers and civil society activists from across Africa who gathered at the inaugural Youth Forum on Adaptation Finance in Africa have called on leaders from around the globe to urgently scale up adaptation finance and include young people in actions to fight climate change.
PHOTO Twelve research groupings across five Danish universities have been selected to investigate and make recommendations for concrete strategies to enhance gender diversity and inclusion in Danish scientific research settings and to support the participation of more women at the highest levels of research.
PHOTO Timely access to effective mental health services for students has never been more important. With the assistance of artificial intelligence and data intelligence, it is now possible to pre-emptively flag when an individual might be experiencing mental distress and offer the support needed.
HE and Sustainability: The Gulf States
As the United Arab Emirates prepared to host COP28, the global summit on climate action and sustainable development that kicked off this week, University World News compiled this Special Briefing exploring the contribution of Gulf states’ universities to climate action and to achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
PHOTO Gulf universities are successfully implementing sustainable education policies in a bid to reduce inequalities among staff and students. Aligning their strategies with the Sustainable Development Goals, several universities have achieved noteworthy rankings. The support offered to special needs students could be transformative for societies.
PHOTO With the United Arab Emirates to host the United Nations Climate Change Conference, or COP28, this November and December, UAE higher education institutions have intensified their focus on climate change and sustainability, greening campus infrastructure, developing courses and engaging with the private sector.
PHOTO The private Al Ain University in the United Arab Emirates, located in the oasis city with the same name, is leading the way on sustainable development among universities in the country through initiatives to boost quality education and global and national partnerships.
PHOTO International research into Kuwait University has shone light on the complexities and challenges of implementing sustainability in higher education, and the importance of regional and social and cultural context. ‘Developed globally, induced locally’ does not always work well, the researchers say.
Education for Sustainable Development
Half-way to the target date for achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, University World News – in partnership with global quality assurance provider ABET – is publishing a series of special reports on how higher education can best equip students with the skills, knowledge and values needed to shape a sustainable future.
PHOTO Change leadership involves steering an institution through major disruptions and organisational transformation. Research highlights the need for effective change management and academic collaboration to help universities around the world overcome the challenges of implementing education for sustainable development across the whole institution and curricula.
PHOTO The world is moving inexorably from the ‘what’ of sustainable development to the ‘how’. This is the tricky part. Universities are uniquely placed to help leaders understand what sustainability is and – crucially – how their organisations can achieve it, says Ben Kellard of the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership.
It can be hard for people to grasp that sustainability is a purpose of education, says Professor Charles Hopkins, a global expert on the subject at York University in Canada. “Education for sustainable development is a way of doing it.” Conceptual fuzziness confuses the issue, and many people see sustainability as an add-on to education.
A global student body is supporting universities around the world to lead societal change that pushes behavioural norms towards more sustainable practices, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and advancing sustainable development. Tens of thousands of students are taking leadership of sustainability – and becoming leaders themselves in the process.
Social entrepreneurship programmes are being seen in South Korea as an opportunity for universities to contribute to achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals as well as shore up the nation’s economic competitiveness. But first young people – tomorrow’s leaders – need to (re)discover empathy.
Our Partners for Sustainability
The extraordinary work that universities have done over decades to advance sustainable development is not sufficiently recognised by society at large, governments or the United Nations system. A new partnership between University World News and the International Association of Universities will address that problem.
Student View
The significant carbon footprint of the Erasmus+ student mobility programme could be reduced in a number of ways – ranging from incentivising and developing more sustainable forms of transport such as train travel, and reducing resource consumption, to rethinking the very concept of mobility.
PHOTO 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.
Sustainability Rankings
In the Times Higher Education Impact Rankings 2023, which are geared to assessing institutions’ contribution to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, Australian and Canadian universities dominate the top 10 of the overall category, but Australia takes first place in seven of the individual 17 SDGs.
About the SDGs Hub and Agenda 2030
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.
Country Spotlights
In the first of a series of country spotlights on the contribution of higher education to achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and the international targets in Agenda 2030, we look at the innovative work of universities and the higher education system in Japan.
Magna Charta Universitatum 2023
Representatives of higher education institutions worldwide supporting the values of the Magna Charta Universitatum gathered in Lodz, Poland, in October to discuss how universities can contribute to the reconstruction of cities torn apart by conflicts and natural disasters or struggling to emerge from economic deprivation.
WAHEN Oxford 2023
Global stakeholders and experts involved in the World Access to Higher Education Network met in Oxford in the United Kingdom in September to discuss how they can better galvanise international support for the global movement for widening access to students across diverse groups and improving their inclusion and outcomes.
HE and Agenda 2030
University World News reports on the Higher Education Sustainability Initiative or HESI Global Forum – which highlights the critical role higher education plays in achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs – last week and the UN High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development, which is reviewing progress towards the SDGs half-way to 2030.
PHOTO The United Nations’ Higher Education Sustainability Initiative is developing practical guidance for higher education ranking organisations wanting to integrate the delivery of Sustainable Development Goals into their assessments of universities and colleges. The initiative has been supported in principle by some major ranking groups.
PHOTO Students worldwide have been pushing initiatives that target delivery of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, the UN Higher Education Sustainability Initiative Global Forum heard last week. They described actions ranging from youth summits and student hubs to using extended reality to deliver SDG learning.
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.
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.
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PHOTO With an eye to developing a clean, alternative aviation fuel to reduce carbon emissions, researchers at the United Arab Emirates University have been focusing on the production of jet fuel from sustainable resources such as halophytes, which are salt-tolerant plants that could be cultivated on a wider scale in the region’s coastal areas.
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PHOTO Artificial intelligence is now a part of our evolution in technology and teachers need to be encouraged to find ways to bring AI into the classroom and have students use it in a way that is beneficial to them in the long term.
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PHOTO As water scarcity reaches critical levels globally, a research team at the United Arab Emirates University seeks to revolutionise seawater desalination practices, offering a path to mitigate water scarcity while championing environmental preservation.