UT signed has signed on to a new global effort to make the world a better place.
The university is among more than 75 institutions and associations from 10 countries to sign on to the Declaration on University Global Engagement, a joint effort of the United Nations Institute for Training and Research and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities.
“This is International Education Week, so it seems a perfect time to make sure the campus knows about this action,” said Gretchen Neisler, vice provost for international affairs. “Being part of this effort is important for a number of reasons. It provides a platform for us to share some of the great work we are already doing through our research, teaching, and outreach to help innovate solutions to global grand challenges. It also keeps our finger on the pulse of society to see where we might help even more. Additionally, signing on to this declaration gives us a seat at the table—it positions UT to be a thought leader and shape the strategy that will be implemented.”
The declaration states in part, “As universities from around the world, we are committed to educating students who can successfully live and work in our globally connected world and change it for the better. We are also committed to discovering, producing, and sharing new solutions to the world’s most pressing problems. These missions require of universities an openness to—and engagement with—ideas, knowledge, and people from all parts of the world.”
“UT’s joining on this declaration is an institutional statement to our commitment to being a globally engaged campus. It is critically important that we are graduating students who understand what it means to be a global citizen,” Neisler said.
The declaration links the world’s academic communities to the United Nations’ new global development agenda, known as the Sustainable Development Goals. The SDGs address pressing economic, social, and environmental challenges facing the world today with 17 objectives: no poverty; zero hunger; good health and well-being; quality education; gender equality; clean water and sanitation; affordable and clean energy; decent work and economic growth; industry, innovation, and infrastructure; reduced inequalities; sustainable cities and communities; responsible production and consumption; climate action; protecting ocean life; protecting land environment; peace, justice, and strong institutions; and achieving partnerships to work on these goals.
UT’s Center for International Education encourages the campus community to take part in the activities scheduled for International Education Week. Find a full lineup of activities online.
“Come learn with us and begin to think about what global engagement means to you,” Neisler said. “As the initiatives of this UN steering committee get under way, CIE will inform our campus community and welcome your involvement.”
Amy Blakely (865-974-5034, email@example.com)