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RCE Bulletin

Issue 146: October 2023

Dear Colleagues and Friends, 

Greetings from the Global RCE Service Centre - it's not long to go now until the 13th Global RCE Conference! The co-hosts RCE Greater Gombak & RCE Greater Kuala Lumpur have prepared an exciting programme that focuses on the Whole Community Approach for ESD, that will be filled with discussions, reflections, site visits, and opportunities to connect. We are looking forward to seeing you all soon, either in-person or online for this important event.

If you would like to share any news, upcoming events, open calls, or publications for an upcoming bulletin, please complete this form and email your submission to the Global RCE Service Centre at rceservicecentre@unu.edu (submissions close on the 15th of each month).


The Global RCE Service Centre

Upcoming Events

2023 Higher Education Summit – Student Takeover
23-25 November 2023, online

The Higher Education Summit is a conference series initiated by the COPERNICUS Alliance, the European Network on Higher Education for Sustainable Development. From 23-25 November 2023, the COPERNICUS Alliance will be co-organising a three-day online conference together with the student initiative oikos International, and will raise the question: "How can we foster collective transformative learning and structurally integrate it into higher education to make it future-proof?"

Preparing for the future entails a paradigm shift towards more learner-driven education, which means that not only students, but also teachers and other educational and societal stakeholders learn by closely collaborating - a real Copernican Revolution in Higher Education.

The Summit will bring together students, educators and changemakers in the field of transformative learning for sustainable development within higher education. The interactive program will offer different formats including keynotes, workshops, and spaces for informal exchange among participants. Registration is free - visit the website or reserve your virtual seat here by 16 November 2023.

Open Calls

Latest News

RCEs in Asia-Pacific Discuss Ideas to Empower Communities at Regional Meeting

The 15th Asia-Pacific Regional Meeting was held in a hybrid format from 14-16 September 2023 at the Sejahtera Forest in Tongyeong City, Gyeongnam Province, Republic of Korea, hosted by RCE Tongyeong. Under the theme 'Empowering Sustainable Community through Education for Sustainable Development', close to 60 people attended the Meeting in person (including members across 15 RCEs), while more than 30 people participated virtually.

The event emphasised the importance of engaging local stakeholders to promote sustainability in the Asia-Pacific region. Throughout the three days, the programme included field visits, keynote speeches, presentations from RCEs and candidate RCEs on their projects, and discussions to facilitate experiential learning and collaboration. Cultural activities, such as painting and a welcome concert by local elementary school students, ignited inspiration among participants. Read more

(Photo credit: Seol, Hyeon Jung)

European RCE Meeting Highlights Importance of Transformative Education

The Europe Regional Meeting 2023 was hosted by RCE Fryslan and RCE Basque Country - Navarre, and was held virtually from 12-14 September 2023. Over three days, approximately 60 participants attended the Meeting, held under the theme 'Transformative Education for Sustainable Regions'.

The topic of the meeting was introduced by means of a power lecture on 'Transformative Education and International Institutional Frameworks', by Mrs Cecilia Barbieri (Chief of Section, Global Citizenship and Peace Education, UNESCO). Mrs Barbieri stressed the importance of a transformative education which can transform people, who in turn can transform societies in order to build a better future. 

European RCEs delivered 'Dialogue and co-creation' sessions on their projects and activities, and discussed both their challenges and actions. On the final day of the event, the European Internal RCE Assembly Meeting was held on 14 September 2023. Participants identified current opportunities and challenges for their RCEs and discussed strengthening ongoing communication and collaboration between European RCEs. Read more

(Photo credit: RCE Basque Country - Navarre)

RCE Americas Meeting Successfully Builds Connections Throughout the Region

The 12th Americas Regional Meeting was held in a hybrid format from 27-29 September 2023 in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, hosted by RCE Greater Atlanta under the theme 'Youth Engagement - Empowering Our Youth to Be Changemakers'.

The Meeting stood as a vibrant forum, where individuals gathered from all around the Americas to exchange views, share ideas, and delve into the discourse of sustainability.

The participation of working professionals, academics, and students created a productive dialogue among the many panels, presentations, and workshops held over the three-day meeting. Each cohort was able to contribute a unique perspective on how sustainability plays a role in their own work, creating an environment where mutual learning fostered collective growth amongst attendees. The Meeting not only allowed for interpersonal connections, but promoted conversations around intergenerational education and its importance as new generations fill the roles of those before them.

The full report of the event prepared by the event organisers can be accessed here.

(Photo credit: Lara Bailen)

ProSPER.Net Sustainability Forum Explores New Direction for Equity and Inclusion in Higher Education

On 21 October 2023, UNU-IAS co-organised the ProSPER.Net Sustainability Forum as part of the UN Weeks at Sophia University. The event discussed the effects of the COVID-19 crisis on the provision of inclusive and equitable education, particularly its impact on vulnerable populations, as well as the efforts of Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in striving for sustainability and inclusion. Read more

(Photo credit: Sophia University)

RCE Kathmandu Holds Formalisation Event

Following the acknowledgment of RCE Kathmandu, an event was organised on 1 October 2023 to inform all founding members. Members from founding organisations gathered at Kathmandu University, Nepal where RCE Kathmandu is housed. The RCE Kathmandu Chair, who is also the Dean of the School of Education, unveiled the RCE Kathmandu certificate and highlighted the significance of ESD in today's world, emphasising there is no limitation to creating activities that can/will fulfil the SDGs. The Dean of Madhesh University, who is also the president of the Native Art and Heritage Academy, highlighted the importance of native elements that have strong conservation values, along with their revival in order to maintain sustainability.

Activities being conducted were then shared in order to identify opportunities for collaboration or the development of new projects aimed at achieving the SDGs. An upcoming workshop is planned to select activities to be jointly undertaken, with proposals to be developed for various project concepts.

RCE Lucknow Hosts Youth Environmental Leadership Workshop on Beating Plastic Pollution

On the occasion of Ganga River Dolphin Day (5 October), RCE Lucknow hosted a Youth Environment Leadership Workshop in Lucknow, India. The workshop aimed to empower and educate college youth, equipping them with the skills necessary for environmental leadership. Over 56 participants from different colleges attended the workshop with a primary focus on youth leadership under the theme 'Beat Plastic Pollution'.

Participants received training and guidance through various interactive sessions on Sustainability and the SDGs, Plastic Problem and Solutions, and Leadership skills. The workshop engaged and equipped participants with essential skills such as effective communication, active participation, and leadership qualities. Students interacted with experts and their peers to discuss and plan what can be done in their own colleges and neighbourhood for taking Handprint action to combat plastic pollution due to single-use plastics. Each college team prepared action plans for using different education and communication approaches to reach out to local communities, ensuring their knowledge translates into real change. For further information, read RCE Lucknow's full report here.

(Photo credit: RCE Lucknow)

SDG Action Weekend Event Discusses Collaboration on Postgraduate Education

As part of the SDG Action Weekend in New York, a UNU event discussed the role of postgraduate education in achieving the global goals. Held at the UNU Centre for Policy Research (UNU-CPR) on 16 September 2023, the event reflected on international and transdisciplinary higher education initiatives in Bangladesh, Germany, and Japan. 

Experts from UNU and several partner institutions explored the potential of postgraduate education to address sustainable development challenges, focusing on partnerships between the Global North and the Global South. The event also exchanged strategies and best practices for integrating environmental management and resource-nexus concepts into postgraduate curriculums. Read more


Join Free Online Courses 'Learning for a Sustainable Future' and 'Live at COP28'

How should we take positive action towards a sustainable future? RCE Scotland, in partnership with the University of Edinburgh and the British Council, have created two free, short, facilitated online courses; ideal for anyone interested in sustainability and of particular interest to educators.

  • Learning for a Sustainable Future (starting 23 October)
    Climate change, gender equality, health, social equity, and inclusion are issues that affect us all, impacting human and wider planetary well-being. How to live a sustainable life affects - and connects - everyone. Join RCE Scotland on a personal and professional learning journey towards a sustainable future. Taking a personalised issue-based approach, this free, 5-week, facilitated course supports you to reflect, investigate, discuss and develop an informed personal response to major contemporary challenges faced today. Sign up here.
  • Learning for a Sustainable Future: Live at COP28 (starting 30 November)
    Explore global issues during COP28 and be part of the call for collective action. Find out more about the key international frameworks that support action on climate change, and explore national and international responses to the conference themes from children and young people, community groups, and ministerial bodies. Engage in community discussion and share your perspectives and ideas for the future. Sign up here.

Participants can sign up at any time, however those completing the course before 26 November for the 'Learning for a Sustainable Future' and 14 December for the 'Live at COP28' course, will be entitled to a free certificate.

(Photo credit: The University of Edinburgh)