IAU Global Cluster on HESD
The IAU Global Cluster on HESD promotes the role and potential that HEIs globally have in order to achieve the SDGs and the 2030 Agenda. The Cluster encourages collaboration and takes a holistic approach to the SDGs, focusing specifically on the whole-institution approach.
The IAU Global Cluster on HESD brings HEIs from all continents together and encourages them to develop joint initiatives and synergies.
The Cluster works on all dimensions of the SDGs, combining environmental, social, cultural, and economic dimensions of sustainability, with partnerships as the key enabler for joint action.
Peer-to-peer learning sparks new ideas and creativity among the Members of the Cluster and will encourage other universities to step up their game towards achieving a more sustainable future. The Cluster helps generate joint and collaborative projects and other initiatives.
The Cluster is composed of 16 lead Institutions, each championing and working on one specific SDG while at the same time linking it to other relevant SDGs, with additional Institutions invited on board as ‘Satellites’ around each SDG. Currently, around 70 universities (leads and subclusters) are engaged in the Cluster. Work on SDG 17: Partnerships, is led by the IAU and includes working with other organisations in the higher education and sustainable development sphere. The Cluster is supported, monitored and steered by the IAU Working Group on HESD with the Initiatives developed by the Cluster being available to all IAU Members.
Discover key documents for the IAU HESD Cluster
- The Statement on the Joint vision from the IAU Higher Education for Sustainable Development (HESD) Cluster members (March 2022)
- The Strategy and Working Plan 2022-2024 (March 2022)
- Terms of Reference for IAU HESD Cluster Members (November 2023)
Read more about the Cluster in the special edition of IAU Horizon!
Previous IAU Reports on IAU Global Cluster on HESD:
- IAU Global Cluster on HESD Activity Report 2020-2021 here (pdf).
- IAU Global Cluster on HESD Activity Report 2019-2020 here (pdf).
The University of Ghana works closely with the government, private sector and local community. Their thematic focus in projects lies on agriculture, poverty, capacity building and youth. They are also working on transportation and jobs, in collaboration with partners addressing other SDGs.
Focal Point: Prof. David Dodoo-Arhin, Director of Institute of Applied Science and Technology
Antonio Nariño University hosts the Faculty of Environmental Engineering. The faculty promotes the conservation of the environment and the development of sustainable infrastructures.
Focal Point: Sandra Guarin, Director of International Relations
The UOC is an innovative university that is rooted in Catalonia and open to the world. It provides lifelong learning enabling the progress of both individuals and society as a whole, while also carrying out research into the knowledge society.
The UOC's strategic plan has included the 2030 Agenda as part of its roadmap since 2017. The aim is for the whole institution to work towards sustainable development and make a significant contribution to the SDGs.
Located in Barcelona, the University is home to the Faculty of Health Studies and the eHealth Center which, jointly with the Globalization and Cooperation department, lead the SDG 3 Thematic Cluster on HESD. The UOC’s goal in terms of health is to educate and empower professionals and citizens through the use of technologies, and to lead the way towards a new health paradigm. It focuses on people through research, education and guidance, with the aim to contribute to the progress and well-being of society. These will be guiding principles for the SDG 3 team.
Focal Points: Liv Raphael and Marc Graells Font, consultants eHealth Center
The university hosts the UNESCO Chair in Reorienting Education towards Sustainability
The latest Academic Plan from York University Toronto for 2020-2025 can be found here
Focal Point: Katrin Kohl, Executive Chair Coordinator, UNESCO Chair in Reorienting Education towards Sustainability
The University promotes SDG5: Gender Equality throughout the whole institution. Alma Gender IRT is an integrated research team.
Focal Points: Christina Demaria, Delegate of the Rector for equity, inclusion, and diversity, and Daniela Bolzani, Professor.
In 2021, the University of Manouba signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) which aimed to make the campus inclusive, resilient and sustainable. The agreement focuses on the development of five axes, namely, a campus that is beautified, safe and accessible to people with special needs.
The other axes concern the improvement of neglected public spaces adjacent to the university's neighborhoods, the embellishment of a multi-service area , the sensitization of the university community to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and an improvement in the relationship between the UMA and its neighboring territory.
Assam Don Bosco University has committed itself to becoming an EcoFriendly campus. Especially in the field of affordable and clean energy, the university is moving forward.
- Fr. Joseph Nellanatt, Pro Vice Chancellor
- Ms. Juhi Baruahjuhi, Human Resources Director
- Dr. Sunil Deka, Assistant Professor (Selection), Department of Electrical & Electronics Engineering
- Dr. Hironmay Deb, Assistant Professor (Selection), Department of Electrical & Electronics Engineering
The University hosts several research centres of relevance for SDG 8:
- Work and Employment Research Centre (WE)
- Environment for Development Initiative (EfD)
- Centre of Globalization and Development (GCGD)
- Centre for Tourism (CFT)
- Centre for Global Human Resource Management (CGHRM)
- AgeCap Centre for Ageing and Health
- Centre for Business in Society (CBiS)
- Centre on Global Migration (CGM)
A university for the world, the University of Gothenburg´s Vision 2021-2030 can be found here
Focal Points: Eddi Omrcen, Sustainability Strategist, Gunnar Köhlin, Director of Environment for Development
- Makerere University, Uganda
- Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia
- University of Nigeria, Nigeria
- University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
- University of Nairobi, Kenya
- University of Concepción, Chile
- Universidad de los Andes, Colombia
- University of Economics Ho Chi Minh city, Vietnam
- Woxsen University, India
The University offers a Bachelor’s Program in Global Issues, a comprehensive program focusing on literacy in global issues. Students learn what ‘global issues’ are and how they can be resolved from the perspectives of “Environment” and “the Human being”.
Focal Point: Prof. Muneo Kaigo, Institute for Comparative Research in Human and Social Sciences (ICR)
Siam University committed itself to ‘sustainable urban development.’ This idea has a high priority for Thailand. The plan is for the country to develop the status of a knowledge based society and urban living. This new urban agenda will ensure Thailand’s focus on creativity, innovation, and development path.
Please click here for a more detailed description of Siam University's initiatives towards the SDGs.
- Prof. Pornchai Mongkhonvanit, President, Siam University
- Dr. Kanjana Mahatanatavee, Dean of the Faculty of Science
The Regional Centre for Expertise on Education for Sustainable Development in Saskatchewan is hosted by the Luther College at the University of Regina. It has multiple flagship projects. Among others The Sustainability and Education Policy Network (SEPN); Community Collaboration for Potash Mine Engagement; and Reducing Pesticide Use: Plant Health Care Model.
The latest Academic Plan from the University of Regina and Luther College for 2020-2025 can be found here
Focal Points: Dr. Roger Petry, Professor of Philosophy at Luther College & Co-coordinator, RCE Saskatchewan, and Ms. Jocelyn Crivea, Institute for Energy, Environment and Sustainable Communities Manager, University of Regina
The University of the West Indies is located in the Caribbean and hence in one of the areas already affected by climate change. The University has multiple initiatives focusing on sustainable development: the Climate Studies Group Mona (CSGM), Institute for Sustainable Development (ISD), the Centre for Resource Management and Environmental Studies (CERMES), and the cross-campus UWI Resilience Working Group (UWIRWG).
More on their SDG13 Activities on the website for 'Climate Action' .
Focal Point: Kevin Manning, Project Coordinator in the Office of the Vice-Chancellor
- SUNY, USA
- University of Bergen, Norway
- TERI School of Advances Studies, India
- University of the South Pacific, Fiji
- University of Waterloo, Canada
- Universidad de los Andes, Colombia
- University of Witwatersrand, South Africa
- University of Aruba, Aruba
- University of Bristol, UK
- University of Ghana, Ghana
The University of Bergen (UiB) is Norway’s largest marine university, with research and education of a high international standard and several world leading research environments. In 2018, a research center to focus on sustainable ocean research was established, the Ocean Sustainability Centre.
Focal Points: Øyvind Fiksen, Professor and Marine Dean
- The University of the South Pacific, Fiji
- University of Cape Town, South Africa
- Ocean University of China
- Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel, Germany
- The University of the West Indies, Jamaica
- Dalhousie University, Canada
- University of Western Australia
- Universidad del Magdalena (UNIMAG), Colombia
Costa Rica contains nearly 6% of the world’s biodiversity, making it the country with the highest density of biodiversity worldwide. The University of Costa Rica (UCR) hosts the Centre for Research on Sustainable Development (CIEDES) and conducts relevant research in other areas related to the topic.
Read here about the commitment of the UCR for the SDGs (in Spanish).
Focal Point: Yorleni Aguila, Head of International Cooperation
List of other partners upon request
The University is home to the Wangari Maathai Institute for Peace and Environmental Studies. The overall aim of the institute is to cultivate better environmental stewardship and management of resources and ultimately a reduction in related conflicts. The mission of the Institute is as follows: "To cultivate positive ethics, values and practices towards the environment by training stewards who foster peace, promote holistic sustainable development, and link theory with practice".
Focal Point: Dr Thuita Thenya, Director, Wangari Maathai Institute for Peace and Environmental Studies
IAU has promoted higher education teaching, research and community engagement to foster sustainable development since the early 90. Building partnerships and networking for sustainable development and to address the SDGs and Agenda 2030 is inscribed in its DNA. We are pleased to partner with Universities and HEIs and with committed national and international Organisations to build the synergies that are required to help achieve the goals.
A list of IAU partners for HESD can be found here.
- Dr. Hilligje van't Land, Secretary General
- Isabel Toman, Programme Officer