IAU HESD Cluster leads Siam University, Thailand, and Beirut Arab University, Lebanon, recently presented their work with the SDGs and social impact during an online event.

Universities are working with the SDGs in teaching and research, but also actively putting them in practice by working with local communities, especially in times of need. Amongst the numerous initiatives, projects and actions universities take to give back to communities and to have a social impact are two recent examples form the IAU Global HESD Cluster. 

Prof. Ibtihal Y. El-Bastawissi (BAU Representative in HESD and Dean, Faculty of Architecture, Design and Built Environment, Beirut Arab University, Lebanon) and Prof. Pornchai Mongkhonvanit (President, Siam University Thailand and Vice President IAU) presented their universities' work during an IAU session at York Conference in January 2021. 

For instance, they showed how to engage students and combine education with hands-on experience in communities. Both Cluster representatives showed how the university can react to unforeseen challenges. In the case of Siam University, students and staff worked on producing hand sanitizer which they handed out in public transport as a response to the increased spread of COVID19 in the Spring 2020. In Beirut, the city got shaken up in August when a huge explosion took place and destroyed many parts of the city. Beirut Arab University supported the community and continues to do so with re-construction processes that also involve architecture students. 

Beirut Arab University, Lebanon Lead for SDG 9 in the IAU HESD Cluster. Click here to learn more about the initiatives of Beirut Arab University 

Siam University, Thailand Lead for SDG 11 in the IAU HESD Cluster. Click here to learn more about the initiatives of Siam University

The IAU Networking session took place on 21 January 2021 in the frame of the virtual Conference organized by York University on: Sustainable and Inclusive Internationalization: Reimagining Approaches in Higher Education in an Era of Global Uncertainties. 

Shortly after, IAU Secretary General Hilligje van't Land also picked up on the initiatives mentioned during her intervention at the UWN webinar on Social impact. (a summary article can be found here) . The webinar on Social Impact of Universities, organized by University World News, took place on 27th January 2021. The recording of the event can be found here .

Latest update: 28.11.2023