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News & Press: SocEnv News

Post-16 Education Must Shift Up a Gear in Bid to Tackle Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

11 July 2018   (0 Comments)

The Global Alliance – a partnership of the world’s universities, colleges and sustainability networks are today (Wednesday, 11th July) launching a new report at the UN’s High Level Political Forum (HLPF) in New York, exploring the global contribution of Further and Higher Education to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

This research was borne from the SDG Accord, which has attracted some 600 signatories from over 60 countries since its launch in September 2017. This includes 64 institutions representing c. 1.28 million students and nearly 100 global education sector networks representing c. 6000 institutions.

The report, ‘Global universities, colleges and students leading delivery of the UN Sustainable Development Goals’ calls on the UN to better promote the role of higher and further education in all of the SDGs rather than only Goal 4 and on senior management in universities and colleges to look for innovative ways to increase staff and student capacity to address the SDGs.

Other recommendations to the UN include mandating the embedding of Education for Sustainable Development in higher and further education curriculum and the need for a mechanism to fund international collaborative interdisciplinary research opportunities in and between universities and colleges on the SDGs. Additionally institutions are called on to incorporate the SDGs holistically, particularly in any new processes, and students are asked to be the change they want to see.

The findings highlight the opportunities and challenges for institutions in embedding the SDGs and their commitment to increase their contributions to the SDGs next year. They also show the aspiration of students to learn more about the SDGs in their institutions and the changing focus of young people as they start to prioritise social justice and environmental ethics.

Iain Patton, Founding Partner of the Global Alliance and Chief Executive at the Environmental Association for Universities and Colleges (EAUC), said: “This research identifies the critical first steps that pioneering universities and colleges are taking to play their part in realising the Sustainable Development Goals. It highlights the optimism and commitment within the sector, and the role institutions have in inspiring and showing the world’s 200 million higher and further education students why the Global Goals are so relevant and important to their lives and careers.”

The Society for the Environment is a support organisation, Endorsing Partner and signatory for the SDG Accord.

To sign the SDG Accord, visit

Related news item: The Society for the Environment Urges Others to Sign the SDG Accord

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