Going Global 2021

The conference for leaders of international education.

15 - 17 Jun 2021


The ACU is partnering with the British Council on Going Global, which will be held virtually in 2021. From 15 - 17 June 2021 we invite you to explore the theme 'Reimagining international higher education for a post-pandemic world' with international education leaders from around the globe.

What is Going Global?

Going Global is the world’s largest open forum for international tertiary education leaders and specialists. It provides an unparalleled opportunity to form new collaborative relationships, networks and partnerships with peers from around the world and gain access to the latest international innovative research and thought leadership.

The ACU is playing an active part in the programme again this year and is co-organising a series of virtual events, together with the British Council and our members. Please see below to learn about each session and register to attend.

Masterclass: Universities’ local and global contributions to the SDGs - what gets measured gets done? – Tuesday 15 June, 08:30-10:00  BST

Universities are increasingly looking to define and articulate their contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals. This is reflected in efforts to align university strategies and agendas – for research, teaching and learning, and wider operations – to the SDGs, but also in a growth in review – (for example, universities conducting ‘Voluntary University Reviews’), reporting (e.g. to initiatives such as the SDG Accord), and ranking (e.g. the Times Higher Impact rankings) of universities’ responses to the SDGs.

The SDGs identify both global and local challenges. This masterclass will explore how universities are currently contributing to SDG delivery and review at both global and local level, and to better understand how universities could or should contribute in the future. It will draw on research by Newcastle University in association with the ACU’s Higher Education and the SDGs Network, with case studies and insight from across the diversity of the Commonwealth. Participants will gain a deeper understanding of the following questions:

  • What are the benefits of measuring your university’s local and global contribution to the SDGs?
  • Which approach(es) are most valuable in effectively informing university decision making and performance? How does this differ by mission, operational context and resource setting?
  • How can universities civic role be understood in terms of the SDGs, and how this might guide Universities’ local level engagement around the SDGs?
  • How can we make sure the right behaviours and priorities are recognised and valued?

Contributing to this masterclass will be:

  • Meriel Flint-O’Kane, Head of Programmes, Association of Commonwealth Universities
  • Prof Phil McGowan, Chair, SDG Committee, Newcastle University, UK (ACU SDGs Network Co-Chair)
  • Pamela Dube, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, University of Western Cape, South Africa (ACU SDGs Network Co-Chair)
  • Prof Dhanjay Jhurry, Vice-Chancellor, University of Mauritius & ACU Council Member
  • Dr Vincent Lomotey, Registrar, C.K. Tedum University of Technology & Applied Sciences, Ghana
  • Dr Farai Kapfudzaruwa, Strategic International Partnerships, University of Pretoria, South Africa
  • Graham Long, Senior Lecturer, Newcastle University, UK
  • Catherine Moran, Assistant Vice-Chancellor Academic, University of Canterbury, New Zealand

Decolonisation in Practice – Towards a Consensus? - Tuesday 15 June, 14:00-15:00 BST

Universities globally are grappling with issues around decolonisation, equity, diversity and inclusion. This panel, drawn from the ACU’s network of over 500 universities around the Commonwealth, will consider the growing global body of university practice and innovation in this area, and how Universities may best respond to these issues in their own context. The panel will also consider the value and potential for the sector to develop a consensus approach to inclusive and decolonised higher education.


  • Dr Joanna Newman, Secretary General, Association of Commonwealth Universities


  • Meera Sabaratnam, Senior Lecturer in International Relations, SOAS, University of London
  • Candace Brunette-Debassige, Special Advisor to the Provost (Indigenous Initiatives), University of Western Ontario
  • Prof Jonathan Jansen, Distinguished Professor in the Faculty of Education, Stellenbosch University

Exhibition and poster gallery 

Throughout the conference, several members of the Commonwealth Futures Climate Research Cohort will be showcasing their climate and environment research at the exhibition and poster gallery sessions including:

  • Dr Constantinos Vassiliades, Research Scientist & Lecturer, University of Cyprus & University of Naples Federico II Cyprus
  • Dr Kokila Konasinghe, Senior Lecturer in Law, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka
  • Dr Mahendra Gooroochurn, Senior Lecturer, University of Mauritius
  • Dr Ravita Prasad, Assistant Professor, Fiji National University, Fiji
  • Dr Refilwe Mofokeng, Post-Doctoral researcher, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

The ACU and the British Council have partnered to establish the Commonwealth Futures Climate Research Cohort, supporting 26 rising-star climate and environment researchers from 16 countries to bring local knowledge to a global stage, build international collaborations, and translate research into action in the lead-up to COP26. 

Register to attend

Be a part of the Going Global sessions this June

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More information

  • The ACU’s Commonwealth Peace and Reconciliation Network brings together an interdisciplinary collective of academics to advance truth-telling and reconciliation within universities and their communities. Find out more
  • The ACU’s Higher Education and the SDGs Network is for university staff at ACU member universities who are directly engaging in the SDG agenda. The collaborative network aims to facilitate peer learning, share knowledge and good practice. Find out more
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