Conference will focus on international higher education that is sustainable and inclusive

Scholars, educators and policymakers from around the world will join a global conference hosted by York University, to reimagine international learning opportunities impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

As part of York’s Sustainable on the Go initiative to support study-abroad opportunities that promote sustainability, the conference on Sustainable and Inclusive Internationalization is expected to attract more than 600 participants from 65 countries.

Scholars, educators and policymakers from around the world will join a global conference hosted by York University, to reimagine international learning opportunities impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic

The conference on Sustainable and Inclusive Internationalization is expected to attract more than 600 participants from 65 countries

The three-day international conference, from Jan. 20 to 22, will be co-hosted by York International and the UNESCO Chair in Reorienting Education Towards Sustainability at York University, in collaboration with the International Association of Universities, the Canadian Commission for UNESCO, and Okayama University, Japan.

“It is crucial that today’s leaders and those in the future understand global contexts and working in transdisciplinary and intercultural teams towards the common goal of a sustainable future,” said York University President and Vice-Chancellor Rhonda L. Lenton. “York University is very pleased to host this important conversation among colleagues and partners, as we all look forward to a better and safer 2021 and beyond.”

“Higher education has long been a force for cross-cultural exchange, and advancing global cooperation for education and research, but there are barriers to creating equitable access for all to these opportunities,” said Vinitha Gengatharan, executive director, York International. “The global pandemic has led to an unprecedented pause in international student and faculty travel that warrants universities to examine their policies and practices.”

The Sustainable and Inclusive Internationalization conference will be an open forum that will allow participants to tackle these vital questions and related concerns and find workable solutions. It will bring together scholars, international mobility professionals and practitioners, policymakers, sustainability experts and other stakeholders to discuss the evolving status of international mobility in higher education in Canada and globally.

“Issues such as global geopolitical tensions, economic strains, climate change concerns and systemic racism and exclusion continue to limit the participants in these initiatives,” says Charles Hopkins, UNESCO Chair at York University. “Further, the growing concern around the ecological footprint of higher education mobility and the exclusiveness of opportunities has already caused fundamental discussions on the future of international student mobility.”

To learn more about the conference, visit the Sustainable and Inclusive Internationalization website.

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