Manchester is part of a new global network promoting the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
The University of Manchester is part of a new network that will boost the contribution of higher education institutions to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The network has been launched the Association of Commonwealth University (ACU). Manchester ranks as the best university in Europe – and in the top three globally – for its social and environmental impact across its full range of functions in the inaugural Times Higher Education (THE) University Impact Rankings.
This ranking is based on the “societal impact” of the University’s research using the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) as a framework.
The new network will support university efforts to directly engage in the SDG agenda – for example, through integrating sustainable development into their operations, sharing SDG learning content and materials, or developing SDG-focused research strategies.
Professor Luke Georghiou, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of The University of Manchester, said: “Universities are increasingly aligning their strategies and operations with the SDGs, becoming beacons of sustainability in their communities and countries.
“The University of Manchester’s new SDG strategy focuses our work in this area into a plan for impact. Sharing good practice through the new ACU network will strengthen the sector’s contribution to sustainable development, and recognition by policymakers and the wider public of its role.”
The University of Manchester’s new SDG strategy focuses our work in this area into a plan for impact. Sharing good practice through the new ACU network will strengthen the sector’s contribution to sustainable development, and recognition by policymakers and the wider public of its role.
The network will also promote the critical role of higher education in tackling global challenges, and promote collaboration with other SDG initiatives within and beyond the sector – directly contributing to SDG 17 (Partnerships for the Goals).
Dr Julian Skyrme, Director of Social Responsibility at the University, added: “The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals are our world’s call to action on the biggest issues facing our people and planet.
“Whilst The University of Manchester has made big strides in addressing the SDGs, no University, and indeed no nation, can tackle these alone.
“Being part of ACU’s work will help connect our work with other universities around the world to ensure universities like ours play our full role in creating more peaceful, prosperous and sustainable societies.”
The Commonwealth has a population of 2.4 billion – 60% of which are under the age of 30. Universities are crucial to ensuring that young people have a sustainable future. The Higher Education and the SDGs Community will connect universities across the Commonwealth in their work on the sustainable development agenda.
Dr Joanna Newman, Secretary General of the ACU, said “None of the 17 SDGs can be achieved without the contribution of higher education. We are proud of the work our members are doing to address the most pressing issues of our time. The Commonwealth is a living laboratory for change, and our common language and institutional structures are a solid foundation for partnerships between universities. Our new network will support collaboration between our members and act as a powerful advocacy platform to demonstrate the contribution of the higher education sector to a wider audience.”