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Stefanie Mallow


The United Nations’ Agenda 2030 was unanimously adopted in New York in September 2015. For the first time, the work of universities and higher education institutions (HEIs) is specifically mentioned in a UN global development agenda, as a target as well as means of implementation. Reflecting on previous work on the absence of higher education in earlier agendas, this article asks what the inclusion means for universities.

The article further analyses the role universities and HEIs play for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Agenda 2030. Using data collected on the Global Portal of Higher Education and Research for Sustainable Development (HESD), created and developed by the International Association of Universities (IAU), the article shows higher education initiatives and best practices in support to the SDGs that are already implemented, stressing the importance of such initiatives. The article argues, that all functions of the university - teaching, research and community engagement - are important for the achievement of the SDGs and that the science-policy interface needs to be further strengthened to make sure we will reach the future we want (UN, 2012).


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