News Release

Upcoming UNESCO report calls for action from the world’s universities

SDG Bergen Conference

Reports and Proceedings

The University of Bergen

The Global Independent Expert Group on the Universities and the 2030 Agenda (EGU2030) that authored the report urges all higher education institutions to contribute to the implementation of the SDGs, as well as shaping the goals beyond 2030.

Their report, entitled “Knowledge-driven actions: Transforming higher education for global sustainability,” calls for a more sustainable course for the world through radical shifts in current development paradigms.

A clear message to all higher education leaders
- Our hope is that this report will act as a reflective piece and encourage higher education leaders and stakeholders to think critically and act urgently in support of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, because it is our very survival and common future that is at stake, states Stefania Giannini, UNESCO’s Assistant Director-General for Education in the foreword of the report. 

Behind the report is an international panel of fourteen independent experts. Among them is the Norwegian professor and author Dag O. Hessen, University of Oslo.

- Universities and higher education institutions must be in the forefront of the global transition towards the SDGs, by education, research and not the least interactions with society at large. Free, critical thinking and innovation in its broadest sense are imperative to face the challenges we are facing, says Dag O. Hessen.

Higher education institutions in a unique position
The expert group also stresses the need for universities to become more open institutions able to integrate diverse cultures and knowledge systems and take a more democratic approach to knowledge sharing. It urges for a much stronger presence in society through awareness raising, outreach and partnerships. According to the Independent Expert Group, this transition is dependent on new knowledge and research that higher education institutions are in a position to provide.

A digital presentation of the report will take place at the SDG Conference hosted by the University of Bergen on February 9th, and the full UNESCO report will soon become available online. The digital event will be open to all, and registration is free.

The recommendations will be further discussed during an official launch event at UNESCO’s 3rd World Higher Education Conference to be held in Barcelona, 18-20 May 2022.


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