COP28 session pushes value of HE sustainability targets
Without clear higher education sector targets and key performance indicators, progress towards sustainability was difficult to measure, a UNESCO-sponsored workshop at the UN Climate Change Conference (UNFCCC COP28) held in Dubai heard this week.
Susanna Karakhanyan, immediate past president of the International Network for Quality Assurance Agencies in Higher Education (INQAAHE) told a 6 December session of the COP28 conference, titled “Greening Higher Education: Transforming Competences and Practices”, that climate policies need to be universal.
UNESCO IESALC (International Institute for Higher Education in Latin America and the Caribbean) co-sponsored this with the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation, and University of Helsinki, working with Education Above All, IBM, INQAAHE (International Network for Quality Assurance Agencies in Higher Education), Una Generacion, the Global Student Forum, the UNESCO SDG4 Youth & Student Network and the Greening Education Partnership.
The session was co-sponsored by INQAAHE with support from Education Above All, Una Generacion, the Global Student Forum, and the UNESCO SDG4 Youth & Student Network, plus Finland’s University of Helsinki.
Karakhanyan said, according to UN figures, in 2022, there were 56 countries in the world facing military unrest or invasion. Given this instability, these countries are “very far from being sustainable or thinking about sustainability … Let’s nurture the value of peace”, she said.
Higher education institutions are strong vehicles to promote such societal change, so that all populations value and pursue sustainability, said Karakhanyan. However, across higher education institutions worldwide there is an insufficient proportion who have the capacity to do so.
That includes looking at strategic planning, budget allocation, engagement with students and faculty, awareness raising – all “a cause for concern”. Some quality sustainability toolkits have been developed, but implementing them is “another challenge”, she said (…)
Author: Keith Nuthall
Original post published in University World News