A hub to share best practice and ideas on HE and the SDGs

In an era where the once unforeseen consequences of human activity are creating global warming and pollution at levels that are not only threatening the survival of many of the world’s species but also death and destruction of people and their habitats through natural disasters and conflict, the role of universities and research has become central to peace, development and sustainability.

The United Nations has called on universities to be catalysers of change on climate action, poverty, inequity, health and conflict and there already exists an internationally agreed framework for imagining, evaluating and implementing our responses to these global challenges in the form of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Agenda 2030.

Agenda 2030 is the international plan for sustainable development agreed by world leaders and UN member states. It aims to “free the human race from the tyranny of poverty and heal and secure our planet”. It comprises the 17 SDGs and 169 targets, creating a plan of action for “people, planet and prosperity” that will also strengthen peace and freedom.

None of the SDGs can be achieved without the contribution of higher education through research, teaching and community engagement.

Many universities worldwide are already leading the way in using the SDGs as a framework for reorienting their missions, adapting their curricula and focusing their research efforts to help address these global challenges.

In support of universities’ efforts worldwide to tackle these challenges and educate students to become future agents of change, University World News has set up this SDGs Hub to gather reports and commentaries on higher education’s contribution to achieving these goals, share best practice and publicise related opportunities and events.

The hub provides in-depth reporting on higher education responses to and impact on each of the individual SDGs, as well as access to information on SDG-related higher education events, webinars and other activities.

In the spirit of Agenda 2030, we are developing the hub in partnership with trusted academic organisations committed to strengthening higher education and research’s contribution to this work.

Over time we hope to develop the hub into a high-quality and valuable resource for higher education institutions seeking to tackle global and local challenges.

If you would like to contribute your ideas on how to develop the hub to support universities’ work towards the SDGs, you can contact me via

Brendan O’Malley is editor in chief of University World News.