(Nagoya, 9 November 2014) – Around three-quarters of all Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) having made a voluntary pledge as part of the Higher Education Sustainability Initiative (HESI) in 2012, were found to have made at least partial progress on their commitment, according to a preliminary report. The study to review the progress of the 272 HEI commitments made at the occasion of the Rio+20 Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, found that these commitments played an enabling role in mobilising HEIs towards ensuring a sustainable future. While the level of progress varied significantly among the committing institutions, this majority figure provides an optimistic outlook that these academic institutions are progressing on implementing the Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) agenda. The majority of institutions actively support sustainable development through education, research, operations and outreach programmes, demonstrating noteworthy patterns in the types of outcomes and the implementation methodologies used to achieve these outcomes. Tools leveraged by these institutions primarily included strategic plans, working groups and reporting.
The preliminary HESI progress report, conducted by the PRME Secretariat of the UN Global Compact Office, with comments from the HESI co-convening UN partners UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA), UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and United Nations University (UNU), was issued at the occasion of the International Conference on Higher Education for Sustainable Development on 9 November, in Nagoya, Japan, and the following UNESCO World Conference on Higher Education for Sustainable Development: Higher Education Beyond 2014, taking place from 10-12 November 2014. The former was organised by UNU, in collaboration with UNESCO, PRME, UN DESA, UNEP and the International Association of Universities, and reflected on the achievements and challenges for education institutions in implementing ESD priority areas. The conference also served as a follow-up to the commitments made by participants of HESI. Here, the conference provided a unique opportunity to look back on the progress made, as well as critically examine the challenges and collaboratively develop pathways to scale their transformative impact.
For a copy of the progress report, please see here.
For further information, please contact:
Head, PRME Secretariat
UN Global Compact