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By Tahl Kestin, John Thwaites, Katie Ross, Leanne Denby and Marjan van den Belt.
Education is recognised in a number of the SDGs, particularly SDG 4 which calls for “inclusive and equitable quality education and lifelong learning opportunities for all”. Reuters/Arnd Wiegmann
In an unpredictable and insecure global political scene, the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are intended to tackle pressing global challenges.
Agreed on by all participating countries, including Australia, the SDGs set 17 goals and 169 targets to promote economic prosperity, social inclusion and environmental sustainability.
The goals cover a wide range of complex and interrelated challenges. Addressing them will require changes in how societies and economies function, and how we interact with our planet.
There is no “right” way for universities to engage with the SDGs. How universities choose to act will depend on their size, research and educational strengths, funding arrangements, the needs of the communities they serve, and other factors.
The guide sets out how universities can tailor a whole-of-university approach to the goals. This starts with mapping what is already happening, building capacity, identifying priorities and gaps and then mainstreaming the SDGs in key policies and strategies. The guide also contains tools and case studies to help universities as they build their engagement.
Achieving the SDGs is a big task, and given the critical roles universities have in supporting and delivering on this, the sector needs to make progress. The important thing is for universities to get started. This guide provides the framework for doing so.