Welcome to the Higher Education and Research for Sustainable Development (HESD) Portal

This global portal is a tool developed by the International Association of Universities (IAU) for its Members, partners and the general public already since 2012. It provides access to university actions and more initiatives developed around the world to promote sustainability and contribute to the SDGs.

Update on Portal Relaunch 

New functionalities and an improved layout - IAU is pleased to present the latest version of IAU HESD Portal. Kindly note that we are still making changes in the weeks to come, so in case you encounter any issues, please try again or contact us to report a problem. Thank you for your patience and we hope you enjoy the new page!

Find initiatives, connect and be active for a more sustainable future and the UN SDGs!

IAU Members’ and Partners’ News

Find out how your institution can join the next cohort 2024-25 of the Responsible Futures International Programme by joining one of the online information sessions!

Join the IAU and European Women Rectors Association on the International Women's Day, for a webminar on "Tackling the Leaky Pipeline in Academic Leadership"!

Submit an application to conduct a case study of climate change communication and/or climate change education.

Learn about the participants in this international pilot and their achievements so far in the journey of integrating ESD at the whole institution. First up: Trinity College Dublin in Ireland!

The Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship Program (CADFP) is now accepting Project Requests from African host universities and Scholar Applications from qualified African academics in the diaspora in the United States and Canada.

The ESD-NET Global Meeting in Tokyo, which commenced on December 18, 2023, marked a successful gathering at the United Nations University with the presence of representatives from more than 80 countries. This year’s meeting focused on sharing the implementation and progress of the ESD-2030 national initiatives, trends, challenges and innovations within the framework of Agenda 2030 and discussing the action points for the next two years 2024-2025.

Under the general theme of the conference, New Challenges for Higher Education, Cities and Regions: Addressing SDGs in Changing Contexts, key issues address both the larger international dimension of the mission of universities and colleges with the aim of contributing to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and their role for the development and well-being of cities and local communities.

//Watch the recording & read the event summary// Addressing Mental Health issues of students and staff at universities and taking preventive measures through information and e-health tools were some of the examples described by experts during this webinar.

During the UNESCO General Conference, UNESCO launched a new report on gender equality. IAU was pleased to attend the launch event on 7 November 2023.

Led by the High-Level Climate Champions for Climate Action, the Race To Zero mobilizes actors outside of national governments to join the Climate Ambition Alliance, which was launched at the UNSG’s Climate Action Summit in 2019 by the President of Chile, Sebastián Piñera...

After the success of the past edition, C40 has launched a new round of Students Reinventing Cities in 12 cities globally. Students Reinventing Cities provides a unique opportunity for academics and students to collaborate with global cities to imagine a more sustainable and inclusive urban future, by rethinking how neighborhoods identified by cities are planned and designed and developing transformative solutions aligned with the 15-minute city concept.

The IAU is pleased to announce its partnership with Students Organising for Sustainability (SOS-UK), for the international adaptation of the Responsible Futures programme, that SOS-UK already has been conducting with further and higher education institutions for almost 10 years in the UK.

The IAU and University World News have partnered to support the work of universities by providing them with adequate and constructive visibility though the UWN’s SDGs Hub.

Discover the recent actions from the network in the annual Cluster activity report!

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IAU Members’ and Partners’ News

Submit an application to conduct a case study of climate change communication and/or climate change education.

Join the IAU and European Women Rectors Association on the International Women's Day, for a webminar on "Tackling the Leaky Pipeline in Academic Leadership"!

Find out how your institution can join the next cohort 2024-25 of the Responsible Futures International Programme by joining one of the online information sessions!

A milestone initiative of the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development 2021-2030 (‘Ocean Decade’), Vision 2030 is a strategic ambition setting process which aims to identify a common measure of success for each of the Ocean Decade Challenges. Led by 10 Working Groups, one per Challenge, the White Papers are the result of several months of collaborative work initiated in early 2023. Between 22 January and 22 February 2024, we are inviting you to participate in the review process of the draft White Papers developed by the 10 Working Groups.

Learn about the participants in this international pilot and their achievements so far in the journey of integrating ESD at the whole institution. First up: Trinity College Dublin in Ireland!

The ESD-NET Global Meeting in Tokyo, which commenced on December 18, 2023, marked a successful gathering at the United Nations University with the presence of representatives from more than 80 countries. This year’s meeting focused on sharing the implementation and progress of the ESD-2030 national initiatives, trends, challenges and innovations within the framework of Agenda 2030 and discussing the action points for the next two years 2024-2025.

During the UN High-level Political Forum (HLPF) 2020, the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU), the Agence universitaire de la Francophonie (AUF), and the International Association of Universities (IAU) have formalised their collaboration through a memorandum of understanding (MoU). Together, the three associations represent more than 2,000 higher education institutions across more than 140 countries – providing a strong base to advocate for higher education on a wide international scale.

From the 12th to 14th of August, 2020, the Virtual International Conference on Phytochemistry, Textile & Renewable Energy for Sustainable Development, hosted by Moi University, Kenya, took place.

On September 18-19, the Polytechnic University of Catalonia hosted the International Conference on SDGs organized by the Global University Network for Innovation (GUNi). IAU Secretary General, Dr. Hilligje van't Land, was one of the speaker.

The IAU launched the report of its 2016 global survey on Higher Education and Research for Sustainable Development (HESD).

From March 27-31 Freie Universität hosted the second Spring Campus event of the University Alliance for Sustainability on the topic “Societal Transformation to Sustainability: Universities as Pacesetters?”. IAU Deputy Secretary General, Dr. Hilligje van't Land, was one of the keynote speaker.

From November 13 to 16, the IAU held its 15th General Conference in Bangkok which was hosted by a consortium of Thai universities.

IAU and COPERNICUS Alliance signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to work on Higher Education and Research for Sustainable Development (HESD).

The UN Conferences on Sustainable Development, in particular in 1992 and 2012, marked milestones for change and provided a platform for exchange, for all stakeholders. Higher Education strongly advocated for its role early on and mobilised the HE community to recognise the need for action and take the next steps. IAU and partners have been supporting these efforts in various ways.

The collective voice of the world’s universities and colleges was heard at COP21 when a global alliance of tertiary and higher education sustainability networks, including the IAU, representing more than 3000 universities and colleges worldwide, jointly issued an Open Letter urging Ministers and Governments to acknowledge and strengthen the research and education role that universities and colleges play in addressing climate change. IAU also represented its members by taking part in a COP21 panel debate on “Climate change as part of the curriculum from kindergarten to university”.

IAU is pleased to draw your attention to this Conference organised by HESI and supported by the IAU, which took place at UNESCO Headquarters.

Launched at the UNESCO World Conference on ESD in Nagoya the Vol.20, No.3 issue offers a series of 18 papers on why higher education plays a crucial role in addressing the challenges of today and tomorrow. Focusing on the theme of the IAU Global Meeting of Associations 6, the Vol.21, No.1 issue offers a variety of papers on why and how higher education fosters social innovation.

The UNESCO World Conference on Educations for Sustainable Development (WC-ESD) 2014 adopts The Aichi-Nagoya Declaration and the launches the Global Action Programme.

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