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Students are increasingly seeking universities that align with their sustainability goals and global sustainability to study abroad, alongside traditional academic metrics. Duncan Ross of Times Higher Education highlights this shift, noting the growing student interest in climate action and sustainability initiatives at universities. This trend reflects a deeper understanding among students of the urgent need to address environmental issues and their desire to be part of the solution through their education and future careers.
Impact of universities on sustainable development goals
The Times Higher Education (THE) Impact Rankings, introduced in 2019 by Ross, emphasize universities’ role in achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These 17 goals, established in 2015, aim to enhance global quality of life and environmental health by 2030. The rankings have shown strong performances from countries like Canada and Australia, underlining the importance of focused leadership in universities for consistent success.
Global participation and Indian universities focus
The rankings have seen participation from 1,705 universities across G20 countries, including 72 from India. These institutions are increasingly incorporating SDG goals into their core missions. Indian universities, for instance, are making notable strides in SDG 6, focusing on clean water and sanitation, exemplified by institutions like Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham.
Government collaboration and student awareness
Ross also emphasizes the importance of integrating global sustainability into study abroad programs, urging governments to utilize university expertise for complex SDG challenges. He believes universities can be pivotal in research, policy guidance, and community support. There’s an increasing need to boost SDG awareness among students, especially in India, as they will confront future global challenges like climate change. Raising this awareness is key to developing informed leaders who can create sustainable solutions, thus making a substantial impact on global environmental and social well-being.
The role of pure Science and International Collaboration
Consequently, the long-term importance of pure science research in areas like energy efficiency is critical for reducing carbon production. Meanwhile, Indian universities, including IITs, are setting exemplary standards by adopting villages and promoting international collaboration, thus attracting students worldwide to participate in these sustainability initiatives.