The International Association of Universities (IAU) has designated sixteen universities around the world to lead the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) of the 2030 Agenda in the IAU. The objective is to work towards giving a voice to institutions of higher education in each SDG and promote universities' recognition as essential actors in achieving sustainable development in the next global agenda.
Thanks to the initiatives promoted by the Globalization and Cooperation team and the international positioning of the eHealth Center, the IAU has selected the UOC as "SDG 3 Champion". This means it will be leading a team of universities working together to foster higher education's understanding and use of the Good Health and Well-being SDG from an international and multidisciplinary approach.
As promoters, we will be collaborating on university projects related to SDG 3, organizing conferences and seminars to develop the 2030 Agenda and helping the IAU to define its strategy so as to impact on public policy related to this UN global agenda.
Carme Carrion, professor at the Faculty of Health Sciences and coordinator of the design and assessment of digital health interventions at the eHealth Center, will coordinate the SDG 3 working group.
For Carrion, "the UOC being a leader of the Good Health and Well-being SDG is a huge opportunity. It will enable us to spread the notion of healthcare that is much more people-centred and that will lead to a paradigm shift in the field of health, something that needs to happen if we want to continue progressing towards a much more empowered and participative societal model, in which the inclusion of technology as a contributor aimed at both professionals and the public and decision-makers is now a key aspect".
An international cluster to promote the 2030 Agenda
To coordinate and promote each SDG, the IAU will create the cluster in Higher Education and Research for Sustainable Development (HESD), which will be presented at a conference in Malaysia in November.
This cluster will include the sixteen universities that lead each of the SDGs and will connect institutions of higher learning around the world to foster the development of joint initiatives and synergies. SDG 17, which consists of establishing partnerships between different actors and institutions, will be led by the IAU itself.
According to the dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences, Pilar Garcia Lorda, "this initiative will enable us to achieve and even go beyond the objectives that we have been working towards for some time now and that seek to contribute, through teaching, research or transfer, to health policies and practices aimed at universality, equity and sustainability".
The international networks policy, a springboard for the globalization strategy
Also, in May we began working with universities from across the globe to improve the quality of technology in higher education in the group promoted by the IAU, "The Role of Technology in Higher Education". Daniel Riera, deputy dean of the Faculty of Computer Science, Multimedia and Telecommunications, will represent the UOC as member of the group.
Becoming the SDG 3 leader as part of this IAU initiative will enable us to collaborate with committed and diverse universities around the world and establish a reference framework for sustainability in higher education and research.
"Working to achieve the goals of this international political agenda is also the responsibility of universities. Universities have a lot to say and contribute to this process. This is why we at the UOC have incorporated the 2030 Agenda into our strategy", says Pastora Martínez Samper, Vice President for Globalization and Cooperation. "The role and responsibility of universities in light of the 2030 Agenda is now being tackled in different international forums, through different actors, which also helps us position the UOC internationally".
The International Association of Universities (IAU)
Founded in 1950, the IAU is a global association that brings together 650 institutions of higher education and national and regional associations from around the world. The IAU's mission is to strengthen higher education throughout the world by providing a global forum where the leaders of institutions and associations can debate, analyse and act on issues of common interest.
Pastora Martínez Samper
Vice President for Globalization and Cooperation
Expert in: Management and assessment of research, responsible research and innovation, and open science.
Knowledge area: Political science.