Session highlights

Everyone has a role to play in making the Sustainable Development Goals work. But the big missing piece is accountability. Everyone talks a big game, but how can we tell if they’re doing anything? We need to discuss how we are measuring impact, and how we are holding people accountable. That will be key.” Farzana Karim-Haji, Director of University Partnerships, Aga Khan University, Pakistan 

  • Dr Ian Rowlands, Associate Vice-president, International, at the University of Waterloo said that the university was working with partners and students to share perspectives and imagine new research collaborations. He said the teams aimed to “start small, get early wins, and build systematically”, and to blend the innovations of the last year and a half “with the experiences that everyone has missed so much”. He pointed to the collaborative work of the Waterloo Institute for Sustainable Energy, which gathered more than 150 energy experts from 34 countries.
  • Dr Fred McBagonluri, President and Provost of Academic City University College in Ghana, said that the Sustainable Development Goals were an opportunity to “reconfigure the world we live in”. He wants to get to a point where measures such as introducing more girls to STEM becomes the norm, rather than a special effort. He said the college builds its education on principles of experiential, contextual, unified and extensional learning, encouraging students to be lifelong learners and to work collaboratively. 

Session summary

There are less than 10 years left to achieve the 2030 Agenda and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

  1. What roles can higher education play in promoting and achieving the SDGs?
  2. What steps can institutions take to build robust programmes and processes that engage with sustainable development? 

This session will share the experiences and lessons learned from four global higher education institutions across three continents in their journeys to incorporate the SDGs into their research, teaching, and partnerships. 

Dr. Ian Rowlands - Associate Vice-President, International at the University of Waterloo in Canada will chair this session.  He will also share how the university leverages virtual internationalization, accelerated by the pandemic, and how to use tools such as modular programme design and empathy to promote the SDGs through international partnerships.   This session will provide tools for institutions looking to develop pathways to engaging more deeply with the SDGs. 

• Dr. Mary Jane Parmentier -  Clinical Professor and Chair of the Master of Science Global Technology & Development program, will share Arizona State University’s successes in integrating the SDGs into its research activities.  She will also explain how the university organizes its schools and units to leverage the SDGs. 

 Dr. Fred McBagonluri -  President and Provost of Academic City University College in Ghana will describe how the SDGs are used as a foundation for the development of his university’s teaching curriculum in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) and entrepreneurship programmes. 

• Farzana Karim-Haji - Director of University Partnerships at Aga Khan University in Pakistan, will share how the university has leveraged partnerships to create international mobility opportunities for their students to learn about and engage with the SDGs.

The session comprises of brief presentations by the panellists, followed by an interactive question-and-answer period where session participants will have the opportunity to share their perspectives and experiences.

See also