UNESCO-Monash connection places education for sustainability and global citizenship firmly on agenda

Dr Jason Beech
Dr Jason Beech

A prestigious UNESCO chair in Education for Sustainability and Global Citizenship has been awarded to the University of San Andrés in Buenos Aires and will be led by Monash researcher Jason Beech.

Dr Beech – who still holds an honorary position at his former university – said the recognition represents nearly a decade of work for him and his team in Argentina.

“Global citizenship and sustainability are two of the main challenges facing humanity.  The creation of this UNESCO chair comes at a really pivotal time. It opens up possibilities to work more collaboratively, more globally and for our work to have a greater impact,” he said.

New opportunities

Monash Education Dean Professor Viv Ellis welcomed the news and says that this work aligns very firmly with Monash University’s strategic direction.

“Global citizenship and sustainability are significant global issues and this UNESCO chair will only strengthen our collective efforts and our relationships with colleagues in Latin America,” he said.

The UNESCO Chairs program was established in 1992 and involves 850 institutions in 117 countries. The program is designed to foster collaboration, drive innovation and create solutions for sticky global issues.

Global reach

According to Dr Beech, the team has worked with 4500 educators and facilitated nearly 900 projects as part of the foundational work of this project.

“The UNESCO Chair allows us to scale up already successful programs to a global audience, embed ideas of sustainability and global citizenship into education and inform policy. And most importantly we harness the power of young people already creating change. That’s where research and our work with youth movements can make a real difference,” he said.

Opportunities for Australian educators and young people

The UNESCO Chair is currently offering two opportunities Australian educators and young people can be involved.

Water Education for Sustainability and Global Citizenship: a course for educators

A free introductory course is being offered online for educators about water conversation. It has been developed through partnership of international development organisations with a student-centred focus.

From Learning to Leading: a course of young people

Also free, this course is designed for 20-35 year olds who are interested in or involved with advocacy on water and the sustainable development goals. University students are encouraged to apply.