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University Global Coalition

Inspired by the Declaration on University Global Engagement, which has been endorsed by more than 100 universities and higher education associations from around the world, and with the support of the Rockefeller Foundation, the University Global Compact is to form a global platform of universities and other higher education organizations committed to working together and in partnership with the United Nations (through UNITAR), SDSN, and other relevant organizations, in support of the Sustainable Development Goals both locally and globally through our education, research and service missions. Because issues underpinning the Sustainable Development Goals are so complex, lasting solutions will only be achieved through multidisciplinary, cross-sectorial, collaborative approaches, which require new ways of thinking, new talent, and new ideas. Indeed, Goal 17 specifically calls for multistakeholder partnerships at the local, national and international levels. Universities have long worked across borders, helping expose students to different cultural, social and economic realities, and conducting research in distant locations. The Sustainable Development Goals make it clear that global engagement in higher education is not just desirable but necessary. The world needs new knowledge, new ideas and new approaches to solving complex problems.

Expected impact

Some universities have already adopted the Sustainable Development Goals as an overarching framework for their global and local engagement activities or have even embedded them into their strategic plans. Yet the efforts remain mostly isolated and far from widespread, and the voice of universities as critical institutions in shaping and implementing the global development agenda has been notoriously absent from critical discussions, summits and conferences.

The University Global Compact will be a call to action to universities around the world to engage, to lead and to collaborate. It will be a movement, a platform for collective action, and a mechanism to amplify the voice of higher education and bring it to the table in the most relevant global efforts.



Goal 1
Goal 2
Goal 3
Goal 4
Goal 5
Goal 6
Goal 7
Goal 8
Goal 9
Goal 10
Goal 11
Goal 12
Goal 13
Goal 14
Goal 15
Goal 16
Goal 17
Financing (in USD)
Staff / Technical expertise
Staff time to set up platform and engage initial cohort of university leaders
Basic information
Start: 22 September, 2019
Completion: 31 December, 2030
UNITAR & Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) (United Nations / Multilateral body)
UNITAR (United Nations), Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (Academic Institution), Georgia Tech University (Academic Institution)
Initiative focused on COVID-19 pandemic response, prevention and recovery efforts
Not specified
Geographical coverage
Beneficiary countries
Other beneficiaries
Universities, Higher Education Institutions and stakeholders
Contact information
Jonas Haertle, Special Assistant to Executive Director, jonas.haertle@unitar.org,
Geneva, Switzerland
United Nations