SDG Summer School For Experts In Academia (KNUST) 2021
In September 2015, Heads of State and Governments agreed to set the World on a path towards sustainable development through the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This agenda includes 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which set out objectives across the social, economic, and environmental dimensions of sustainable development, all to be achieved by 2030. The SDGs provide a framework for shared action to be implemented by all countries and all stakeholders, acting in a collaborative partnership. As one of the many stakeholders, Universities occupy a unique position in society and have a critical role in the achievement of these SDGs. With a broad remit around the creation and dissemination of knowledge, universities have long been powerful drivers of global, national and local innovations, economic development, and societal wellbeing (DAE, 2015). As such, universities can stimulate and provide drive towards the achievement of the SDGs.
The current activities of some universities such as accessible, inclusive education and gender-balanced enrollment policies, have made important contributions to the achievement of the SDGs. However, for the SDGs to be truly successful at a global scale, universities need to be supported to become champions of sustainable development and play leading roles in the implementation of the SDGs. For this purpose, a concept of ‘Whole-Institutional-approach’ should be formulated in order to help universities own the Agenda 2030.
AIM OF THE PROJECT
The SDG Summer School seeks to take integrated, practical and synergetic approaches to encourage interconnectedness between experts in the global North and South towards the realization of the SDGs. Thus the experts will:
- Acquire the knowledge and understanding of the SDG framework, purpose and uses.
- Obtain basic understanding of the SDGs in academic, administrative disciplines and other essential services.
- Acquire the knowledge, skills, and motivation to become SDG ambassadors, campaigners and creative agents of SDG-oriented societal changes.
STRATEGIC ENGAGEMENT OF THE UNIVERSITIES
Universities can be engaged to find working solutions for the SDGs through;
- Teaching and Learning: Universities can provide demand driven academic and professional programmes that would deliver the SDG-oriented knowledge, expertise and motivation across disciplines to facilitate implementation of the Goals.
- Research: Universities can deploy their research arsenals to unleash evidence-based solutions, methods, technologies and strategies to underpin the SDGs implementation by the global community.
- Organisational governance, culture, and operations of the university: Implementing the principles of the SDGs through the university governance structures and operation policies can make universities own the SDGs.
- External leadership; Universities can strengthen or initiate public engagement and participation as well as lead and facilitate cross-sectoral dialogue and action to address the SDGs.
- Future-oriented positioning; As governments and businesses increasingly embed the SDGs as a strategic focus, timely adoption of the SDG-related education will prepare value added graduates, torch-bearers and proof for the changing circumstances of universities.
- Building new external and internal partnerships; Universities have an opportunities to form new collaborations with government, industry and the community in the areas of research, capacity building and education.
The suggested steps are expected to kick-off and deepen the engagement of the universities with the SDGs.
- Map out existing plans and actions ,
- Build internal capacity and ownership of the SDGs,
- Identify opportunities, gaps and priorities,
- Integrate, embed and implement the SDGs in university strategies, policies and actions,
- Monitor, evaluate and communicate their actions on the SDGs
The target participants shall include but not limited to:
- Teachers, administrators and all other staff of KNUST
- Representatives of other universities from the region.
- Lecturers, administrators and student representatives from Germany
- Representatives from civil society