Higher Education Sustainability Initiative
The Higher Education Sustainability Initiative (HESI) is an open partnership between several United Nations entities and the higher education community launched in the lead-up to the Rio+20 Conference in 2012. It is currently chaired by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA) and the Sulitest Association - a non-profit organization and online platform aimed at improving sustainability literacy for all. Other UN partners include UNESCO, UN Environment Programme, UN Global Compact’s Principles for Responsible Management Education initiative, UN University, UN-HABITAT, UNCTAD, UNITAR, UN Office for Partnerships, and UN Academic Impact. Through its strong association with the United Nations, HESI aims to provide higher education with an interface between higher education, science, and policy making by raising the profile of higher education’s sector in supporting sustainable development, convening multi-stakeholder discussions and action, and sharing best practices.
2023 HESI Global Forum, 17 July 2023Each year, HESI organizes a global forum as a special event to the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) – UN’s main platform for the follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development at the global level - to highlight the critical role of higher education in achieving sustainable development. The HESI 2023 Global Forum, held on 17 July 2023 as an in-person event at UNHQ, placed a particular focus on understanding the challenges and opportunities to accelerate the recovery from COVID-19 and the full implementation of the 2030 Agenda at all levels, in line with the theme of HLPF in 2023. The Forum was open to all relevant stakeholders, both in-person and virtually. It was attended by about 500 in-person and 800 virtual participants. More information & summary at: https://sdgs.un.org/HESI/2023GlobalForum
- Annual Global Forums
- HESI Community
- Action Groups
- Featured initiatives
- 2023 Webinars
- 2022 Webinars
Three webinars on topics related the theme of 2022 HLPF were held in the lead-up to the Global Forum. The discussions of the webinars fed into the discussions of the forum.
Webinar 1 - Transformation of higher education post COVID-19 (27 April 2022)The disruptions that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused to societies, including in the education sector, is unprecedented. The webinar explored how the pandemic has transformed higher education’s approaches to education and learning, its ability to reach and engage students, including challenges and inequalities for those that lack capacities for rapid digital transformations and online learning.
Webinar 2 - Integrating Sustainable Development Goals into higher education (1 June 2022)On 01 June 2022, the second HESI+10 Webinar on “Integrating Sustainable Development Goals into higher education”, organized by DSDG, took place lining up to the preparation for the HESI+10 Global Forum (to be held on 6 July as a special event during HLPF 2022). The webinar, attended by 70+ participants from various sectors, explored explore different approaches to integrating SDGs into higher education, through research, teaching, and learning. Speakers included the United Nations University, Iscte Business School, University of the West Indies, PRME Working Group Sustainability Mindset, IPB University and Monash Sustainable Development Institute & Climateworks Centre. The discussion was moderated by Jean-Christophe Carteron from Sulitest. The next webinar in the series will take place on 21 June to showcase “Inspirational higher education initiatives for SDG 4, 5, 14, 15 and 17
Webinar 3 - Inspirational higher education initiatives for SDG 4, 5, 14, 15 and 17 (21 June 2022)As 2022 marks 10 years since the establishment of the HESI network, the webinar and the forum will highlight and celebrate key higher education initiatives that drive implementation of the 2030 Agenda through education, teaching and learning - particularly around SDGs under review at HLPF (Goal 4, 5, 14, 15, 17).
|Sulitest is an online platform developing training and assessment tools to improve sustainability literacy for all and to provide tangible indicators to monitor this journey. Sulitest's ecosystem of tools include: the Quiz, consisting of a set of around 10 questions and played as an interactive game between several teams, it can be used during board meetings, classes, and other events; Looping, a platform that proposes a reverse pedagogy experience where learners play an active role in co-creating new knowledge, creating questions and using critical thinking and collective intelligence in a peer evaluation process; and lastly, the most well-known tool, the Test, an individual exam that includes a core module of 30 international questions, and optionally, customized modules linked to a specific country, SDG, or topic of choice through customization.|
|Established in 2004, the Green Gown Awards recognise the exceptional sustainability initiatives being undertaken by universities and colleges. With sustainability moving up the agenda, the Awards have become established as the most prestigious recognition of best practice within the further and higher education sector. The Green Gown Awards are administered by EAUC and each region are governed by a local cross agency steering group. The judging panel are representatives of sector organisations relevant to each region.|
Action GroupsEach year, HESI designates Action Groups to tackle topics related to higher education for sustainable development. Action Groups draw upon the full HESI community to carry out its work and is often composed of several organizations and contributors. Results are published on the HESI website and promoted by the network.
HESI CommunityThe HESI network consists of several UN partners, university networks, student organizations, and a number of higher education institutions - that together form the HESI Community. Please visit our HESI Community page to see all members.
2022 - 2023
2019 - 2021
2012 - 2019