Our Patron

Gender Group

HRH The Duchess of Sussex became Patron of the ACU in January 2019, reflecting the causes and issues she has spent decades championing – including female empowerment and access to education.

It is important to note that for many young people around the 53 countries of the Commonwealth, the opportunity to achieve their full potential through education can simply feel out of reach. Whether it is cost prohibitive or that the cultural stigma in their specific community restricts their ability to attend by virtue of their gender, race, or creed – the ACU seeks to break through these boundaries and enable all curious minds the opportunity to whet their appetites for the experiential value of higher learning...

I am inspired by the students of today, by their vision and ambition for positive change, and by their understanding of the powerful role higher education can play to create a brighter future. The Commonwealth’s young people are an incredible asset, and it is vital that we invest in them.

Since becoming Patron of the ACU, The Duchess has met and engaged with students, academics, and staff from ACU member universities across the Commonwealth to learn more about the vital work they do to address global challenges – from developing solutions to marine plastic pollution, to promoting gender equity and equality.