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Higher Education Institutions - key drivers of the Sustainable Development Goals
19 Jul 2017
Conference Room 1, UNHQ
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The Higher Education Sustainability Initiative (HESI), a partnership between United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, UNESCO, United Nations Environment, UN Global Compact’s Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME) initiative, United Nations University (UNU), UN-HABITAT and UNCTAD, was created in 2012 in the run-up to the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20). Through its strong association with the United Nations, HESI provides higher education institutions with a unique interface between higher education, science, and policy making.

On the occasion of the 2017 session of the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development - United Nations’ central platform for follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) - and in conjunction with the 2017 Global Forum for Responsible Management Education - the partners of HESI, in collaboration with United Nations Office for Partnerships (UNOP), organized an event for higher education institutions to showcase how the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including the SDGs, is being integrating into sustainability strategies, research, teaching, pedagogy, and campus practices, and to position higher education institutions as key drivers for achieving the SDGs.

In support of the follow-up and review framework of the 2030 Agenda, UN DESA has collaborated with a flagship initiative supported by HESI – The SULITEST – and has include questions around the SDGs in the Sulitest assessment platform for assessing knowledge of students of Higher Education Institutions around the world. To date, over 60,000 tests have been administered. The results, presented at the event, followed year after year, help to identify gaps in knowledge on sustainable development.

Participants of the HESI event included government officials, academia, university administrators, UN representatives, sustainability professionals, major groups and other relevant stakeholders.


HESI provides a unique interface for higher education institutions to share their experiences and strategies for advancing the sustainable development agenda.
All higher education institutions may join the network freely. Higher education institutions part of HESI commit to:

1) Teach sustainable development across all disciplines of study,
2) Encourage research and dissemination of sustainable development knowledge,
3) Green campuses and support local sustainability efforts, and
4) Engage and share information with international networks.

Join by clicking “Register initiative” at:
United Nations