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Dr Joanna Newman urges universities to lead the way in meeting the SDGs

Published on 17 October 2019
Joanna Newman Speaking At UN HESI 2018

The ACU's role in addressing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) was centre stage at the United Nations yesterday (11 July 2018), as ACU Chief Executive and Secretary General Dr Joanna Newman showcased our work – and that of our member universities – at the Higher Education Sustainability Initiative Global Event.

Speaking on a panel with esteemed senior leaders from higher education institutions across the world, Dr Newman focused on how the ACU is working to meet the SDGs.

From committing to support Commonwealth countries progress towards the SDGs through education, to launching a Climate Resilience Network (contributing to SDG 13), advocating for respect and understanding on campuses across the Commonwealth (SDG 17), and supporting international mobility through scholarships (SDG 4) – the ACU is well placed to advocate for the power of higher education to support the achievement of the SDGs.

In her opening remarks, she drew on how the ACU led the charge for higher education to be included in SDG 4 through our Beyond 2015 campaign. Emphasising how universities are essential to achieving all 17 of the SDGs – through their teaching, research, pedagogy, and vital role in creating global citizens – Dr Newman shared examples from many of the ACU's member institutions, including how the National University of Singapore and Nanyang Technological University incorporate teaching about the SDGs within undergraduate courses.

Speaking after the event, Dr Newman commented: 'It was a great honour to be invited to speak at the UN and take part in this critical dialogue. Through our network of universities across the Commonwealth, we support our members to continue meeting the ambitious targets set out in the SDGs through our policy networks, capacity building programmes, and by advocating for the power of higher education to meet global challenges.

'I'm proud of the ACU's work in this area and I hope to encourage more of our members to get involved with the Higher Education Sustainability Initiative'.