Following the conclusion of the 20th Conference of Commonwealth Education Ministers (20CCEM) in Fiji, the importance of higher education in achieving sustainable development was formally recognised in the final ministerial declaration.
Stating that 'education can deliver', the Nadi declaration reinforces the importance of the Commonwealth Climate Resilience Network and the historic pledge signed by the Commonwealth Secretariat, Commonwealth of Learning (COL) and the ACU, which commits our organisations to work together and support member states to achieve the SDGs through education.
Ministers also expressed their support for the ACU's proposed expansion of the Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan (CSFP), which would boost academic mobility between member states and support the interchange of knowledge, research, and ideas.
Pledged today to work with @commonwealthsec & @COL4D supporting #Commonwealth member states to ensure inclusive & equitable quality education & promote life long learning opportunities for all. Thank you @The_ACU Council for your support. pic.twitter.com/Hzt8qrg75L— Joanna Newman (@DrJoannaNewman) February 23, 2018
Dr Joanna Newman, ACU Chief Executive and Secretary General, said: 'It was a real privilege to lead our delegation to Fiji, which included vice-chancellors and three Commonwealth Scholars, who represent the future of our Commonwealth.
'I am immensely proud of what we managed to achieve at 20CCEM. By working in partnership with our Commonwealth partners, we have laid the foundations to bring about real change through the power of higher education. The Nadi Declaration reaffirms all of this and is testament to the important role the ACU has in supporting sustainable development and building resilience in the Commonwealth.'
The ACU delegation to 20CCEM was led by Dr Joanna Newman, ACU Chief Executive and Secretary General, and included vice-chancellors from across the Commonwealth, recent Commonwealth Scholars, and other key figures.
The outcomes secured by the ACU at 20CCEM will feed into discussions at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, which will be held in London in April.