Engaging with the SDGs will greatly benefit universities by helping them demonstrate university impact, capture demand for SDG-related education, build new partnerships, access new funding streams, and define a university that is responsible and globally aware. The contribution of universities to the SDGs is broad. Some of the main areas of contribution are:
Learning and Teaching
Providing students with the knowledge, skills and motivation to understand and address the SDGs (broadly ‘education for sustainable development’); providing in-depth academic or vocational expertise to implement SDG solutions; providing accessible, affordable and inclusive education to all; providing capacity building for students and professionals from developing countries; and empowering and mobilizing young people.
Providing the necessary knowledge, evidence base, solutions, technologies, pathways and innovations to underpin and support the implementation of the SDGs by the global community – through both traditional disciplinary approaches and newer interdisciplinary, transdisciplinary and sustainability science approaches; providing capacity-building for developing countries in undertaking and using research; collaborating with and supporting innovative companies to implement SDG solutions; improving diversity in research; and training students for sustainable development research.
Organizational governance, culture and operations of the university
Implementing the principles of the SDGs through governance structures and operational policies and decisions, such as those relating to employment, finance, campus services, support services, facilities, procurement, human resources, and student administration.
Strengthening public engagement and participation in addressing the SDGs; initiating and facilitating cross-sectoral dialogue and action; ensuring higher education sector representation in national implementation; helping to design SDG-based policies; and demonstrating sector commitment to the SDGs.