From IISD's SDG Knowledge Hub
24 October 2018: The UN has identified 17 universities around the world that will serve as ‘Academic Impact’ Hubs for each of the 17 SDGs. Each university will be charged with promoting scholarship and best practices for its respective Goal. The partnerships are managed through the UN Department of Public Information’s (DPI) project on UN Academic Impact (UNAI).
The announcement was made in New York, US, on 24 October 2018, on the 73rd anniversary of the UN Charter. Ramu Damodaran, DPI, said the global academic community has shown its ability to devise practical ways in which the 2030 Agenda can be achieved, through research projects, innovative curriculum and campus activities.
Universities that serve as Academic Impact hubs for the SDGs were appointed based on their innovative approaches and expertise around a particular goal. For example, the Nagaoka University of Technology (NUT), the global hub for SDG 9 ( industry, innovation and infrastructure), has trained more than 10,000 engineers, and established a ‘GIGAKU SDG Institute’ programme in May 2018.
The other appointed institutions, which will serve three-year, renewable terms, are:
- Kristu Jayanti College, India, for SDG 1 (no poverty);
- University of Pretoria, South Africa, for SDG 2 (zero hunger);
- New Giza University, Egypt, for SDG 3 (good health and wellbeing);
- University of La Punta, Argentina, for SDG 4 (quality education);
- Ahfad University for Women, Sudan, for SDG 5 (gender equality);
- University of Manitoba, Canada, for SDG 6 (clean water and sanitation);
- National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Energy Policy and Development Centre, Greece, for SDG 7 (affordable and clean energy);
- Balochistan University of Information Technology, Engineering, and Management Sciences, Pakistan, for SDG 8 (decent work and economic growth);
- Western Sydney University, Australia, for SDG 10 (reduced inequalities);
- Carlos III University of Madrid, Spain, for SDG 11 (sustainable cities and communities);
- University of Buenos Aires, Faculty of Economic Sciences, Argentina, for SDG 12 (responsible consumption and production);
- University of Zurich, Switzerland, for SDG 13 (climate action);
- University of Bergen, Norway, for SDG 14 (life below water);
- University of Zanjan, Iran, for SDG 15 (life on land);
- De Montfort University, UK, for SDG 16 (peace, justice and strong institutions); and
- American University in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE), for SDG 17 (partnership for the Goals).
These institutions join an existing network of other UNAI hubs that serve as resources on various issues relating to sustainable development and the role of the UN. For example, the J.F. Oberlin University in the US serves as the global hub for research and action around the UN Charter, and the Al Farabi Kazakh National University in Kazakhstan serves as the global hub on sustainability.
UNAI was established in 2010 as a network of educational and research organizations, which now is made up of more than 1,300 member institutions around the world. The project seeks to disseminate information on UN initiatives and promote activities that contribute to shared global goals. [UNAI press release] [UNAI website for SDG hubs] [Nagaoka University of Technology press release] [InDepthNews story]