Higher Education

Abel Atiti
No. of Members: 27

The UN International Implementation Scheme for the Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (UNESCO, 2005) underscores the role of higher education in achieving sustainable development and emphasises the need for leadership, advocacy, research, capacity development and innovation. Majority of the RCEs are currently coordinated from universities. In this way, higher education is contributing to leadership and management of RCE networks globally. Higher education is involved in enhancing collaborative partnerships for sustainable development by directly contributing to the engagement of actors from all levels of society. They are taking a lead role in research and development to enhance innovative transformative learning approaches. Higher education is promoting reorientation of education towards sustainable development in terms of tailoring their existing programmes/curricula to address local sustainability issues.

During the 2011 Global RCE Conference in Kerkrade, the Netherlands, the thematic session on higher education was used to share ideas on the capabilities and competencies of leaders; the creation of an RCE Award that had been discussed in previous years; and an international student‘s seminar on capacity development among RCEs. As a follow-up action, it was recommended that a small working group of selected RCEs would begin work on two Higher Education initiatives: developing an RCE award and replicating a student seminar model on Higher Education. Towards this end, a small team led by RCE Oldenburger Münsterland has in collaboration with the RCE Service Centre refined ideas on RCE award scheme for piloting. A call for applications for a pilot RCE award has been made to the global RCE community (http://www.rce-network.org/elgg/pg/news/dirksen/read/1222/rce-award-call...).

As part of preparations for the 7th Global RCE Conference in Tongyeong you are invited to actively participate in these online thematic discussions and share your reflections on the role of RCEs in fostering higher education for sustainable development. The following questions are suggested as a possible framework for the discussions:

What are the key issues/challenges facing RCEs in promoting higher education for sustainable development?
What are the top three things you feel need to be discussed in person at the 7th Global RCE Conference during the breakout session on higher education?
What are the top three concrete collective actions (e.g. implementation of collaborative research or capacity development programs) would you like to be implemented on higher education?

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