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Monday 01 June 2020 - 09:00 to Wednesday 30 September 2020 - 23:00

This event took place on 25 June at 9am, UK time.

In this live interactive session we will explore ways in which universities from around the world are integrating the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into their learning/teaching activities.

Alex Wright, Head of Public Affairs for the ACU, chaired this virtual discussion.  Joining him were:

  • Dr Lauren Rickards and Dr Wendy Steele, associate Professors at RMIT University, Australia
  • Prof Philip McGowan, Chair of the Sustainable Development Goals Committee, and Naomi Oosman-Watts, Head of Strategic Projects - Student Services at Newcastle University, UK 
  • Prof Jose Frantz, Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Research and Innovation at University of the Western Cape, South Africa
  • Prof Dhanjay Jhurry, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Mauritius
  • Dr. Maneesha V Ramesh - Dean, International Programs and Director, AMRITA Center for Wireless Networks & Applications at Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham in India

Our speakers have written their own blogs detailing what they are doing at their institutions to help achieve the SDGs. See our blog posts page to read more.


Alex Wright

Head of Public Affairs, The Association of Commonwealth Universities

Alex Wright is Head of Public Affairs for the ACU, where he specialises in international development, education policy and advocacy, conference design and management. He has led on policy work for several key Commonwealth events, including CCEM and CHOGM, and the ACU's own events, such as a 2016 conference for senior university leaders in Ghana. Prior to joining the ACU, Alex has worked in the Commonwealth Secretariat's Education Unit.

Dr Lauren Rickards

Associate Professor, RMIT University

Lauren Rickards is a co-leader of the Climate Change Transformations research programme of the Centre for Urban Research, and Associate Professor in the Sustainability and Urban Planning area of the School of Global, Urban and Social Studies at RMIT University, Melbourne. She is an interdisciplinary researcher with a background in human geography. Her research examines the sociocultural dimensions of climate change and other environmental challenges, and their implications for higher education.

Dr Wendy Steele

Associate Professor, RMIT University

Wendy Steele is an Australian Council Research Fellow and Associate Professor in the School of Global, Urban and Social Studies at RMIT University, Melbourne. She is co-leader of the Critical Urban Governance research program in the Centre for Urban Research, and an Urban Scholar for the UN Global Cities Compact Program. Her research focuses on resilient cities in a climate of change with current projects on the sustainable development goals in HE, ethical innovation and urban futures.

Prof Philip McGowan

Chair, Sustainable Development Goals Committee, Newcastle University

Phil is Dean for Engagement and Internationalisation in the faculty of Science, Agriculture and Engineering at Newcastle University, and chairs the university’s Sustainable Development Goals Committee. This committee has been established to harness the university’s diverse work across the 2030 Agenda for Development and that encompasses learning and teaching, research, impact and engagement, as well as our own operations.

Naomi Oosman-Watts

Head of Strategic Projects - Student Services, Newcastle University

Naomi is responsible for the delivery of large, complex University-wide student services projects with the aim of enhancing and improving the coherence of the student experience by joining up the academic, personal and professional aspects of the learner journey. She is part of the University Sustainable Development Goals Committee with a focus on how we raise awareness of and encourage meaningful participation of students in delivering the Goals.

Prof José Frantz

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (research and innovation), University of the Western Cape

José Frantz PhD is currently the Deputy Vice Chancellor: Research and Innovation at the University of the Western Cape where she is responsible for the strategic vision of research and innovation. Prior to this position she was the Dean of the Faculty for Community and Health Science at UWC (2013-2017). Her strategic interests include the promotion and advancement of research for impact through knowledge exchange and capacity building in health professions education and faculty development.

Prof Dhanjay Jhurry

Vice-Chancellor, University of Mauritius

Prof Dhanjay Jhurry was appointed Vice-Chancellor of the University of Mauritius in March 2017. He is championing the vision of a research-engaged and entrepreneurial university working in close partnership with the public and private sectors as well as with the community to foster innovation. He held the post of National Research Chair in Biomaterials and Drug Delivery under the Mauritius Research Council from 2012 to 2016.

Dr Maneesha V Ramesh

Dean, International Programs and Director, AMRITA Center for Wireless Networks & Applications, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, India

Dr. Maneesha Ramesh, research scientist specializing in Disaster Management. Director & Professor at Amrita Center for Wireless Networks and Applications (AWNA) with the "World Center of Excellence for Landslide Disaster Risk Reduction”, Dr. Ramesh is Dean, International Programs, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, featuring Live-in-Labs®️, an internationally recognized venture to uplift underprivileged communities.

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Going Global sessions, Universities and higher education, Sustainable Development Goals
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Going Global 2020 recorded events