Sustainable on the Go Partners explore new global landscape of higher education

glass planet in a forest with sunshine

York University UNESCO Chair in Reorienting Education towards Sustainability, Charles Hopkins, will be part of a team presenting the Toronto Declaration on the Future of Sustainable and Inclusive Internationalization in Higher Education at the World Higher Education Conference in Barcelona, Spain.

The event, taking place May 18 to 20, provides an opportunity for institutions from across the globe to deepen and expand common efforts in knowledge production, policy dialogue, exchange and networking to ensure sustainable development in higher education.

A photo from the World Higher Education Conference 2022 in Barcelona, Spain with representatives from York University, Canadian Commission for UNESCO and International Association of Universities
A photo from the World Higher Education Conference 2022 in Barcelona, Spain with Charles Hopkins (York University UNESCO Chair), Isabelle Levert-Chiasson (CCUNESCO), Katrin Kohl (York University UNESCO Chair executive coordinator) and Giorgio Marinoni (IAU)

Hopkins will be joined by York UNESCO Chair Executive Coordinator Katrin Kohl and the York International Sustainable on the Go (SOTG) Partners from the Canadian Commission for UNESCO, the International Association of Universities (IAU), and Okayama University to present the declaration as an important milestone towards a sustainable and responsible internationalization. Together, they will share the call for proposals for the next Sustainable on the Go Conference (SOTG 2022), scheduled for Nov. 17.

Funded by York’s Academic Innovation Fund, SOTG seeks to address student and scholar mobility in a responsible manner with aim to contribute to United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and incorporate the principles of inclusivity and innovation. It will offer a proactive, collaborative, engaging and educational approach for student mobility programs through combining international, experiential and sustainability aspects while reimagining the University’s mobility programs.

Hopkins will also speak in a joint session, with IAU and the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), titled “Higher Education’s role in securing the future – a more equitable, peaceful, and sustainable society. Are universities ready to assume their full responsibility?” This session is an opportunity to highlight York University´s commitment to the UN SDGs through the University Academic Plan 2020-2025 and other innovative paths that York University has taken in order to rethink internationalization.

In establishing programs, such as Globally Networked Learning (GNL), the International Indigenous Student Exchange Program and the recent Go Global SDGs in Action Student Challenge, York International has found many ways to respond to the challenges and engage with students and faculty in meaningful ways. At the centre of these efforts stands the concept of education for sustainable development (ESD) as stated in SDG 4.7, embedded to deliver a transformative education experience leading to compassionate global citizens who will make choices in life that align with York´s core values of social justice, inclusion and sustainability.

Logo for the World Higher Education Conference 2022

Every 10 years, UNESCO invites selected stakeholders to create a unified voice for higher education to bring forward as part of the global agenda at the World Higher Education Conference. For 2022, the conference will be held as hybrid event to make it accessible and focus on preparing a roadmap for this new era of higher education. This roadmap will respond to the challenges faced by humanity and the planet, with special attention to the global disruption due to COVID-19. UNESCO will look at both the higher education systems (norms, policies, structures, stakeholders) and institutions (universities, specialized entities, networks).

Learn more about the World Higher Education Conference.

To learn more about York University’s Sustainable on the Go Initiative, and submit your proposal for the SOTG 2022 Conference by June 30, visit the website.