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Opinion Article: Accelerating Education for SDGs, A Guide for University Implementation. 


By Kanyankole Hervy, [email protected] 

Since 2015, the Government of Uganda has, through its implementing partners, done good work as far as the Sustainable Development Goals Agenda 2030 is concerned. However, there’s need for a better and new critical approach. This is called the Education for SDGs in universities. 

Why we need to prioritize this program is to help accelerate the institutional process of mainstreaming Education for Sustainable Development Goals (ESDGs) in universities, by helping stakeholders within and outside universities understand why and how they should pursue this goal. This will expand, update and refine the information in regards to the current structure based on new resources, tools, thinking, and learnings from universities working to implement ESDGs, to consider what ESDGs mean for universities. This directly touches on the pedagogical aspects of ESDGs, in terms of how they affect institutional approaches to ESDGs, but does not attempt to provide a comprehensive review of them. 

Universities have a critical and unique role in helping society address the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This guide focuses on one area where their potential contribution is particularly significant, but still largely niche, which is the development of “SDG implementers” through Education for the SDGs (or ESDGs). This means providing students and other learners within their sphere of influence with the knowledge, skills and mindsets to address the SDGs through their current or future roles.

The need to greatly expand society’s capacity to solve complex challenges has never been more important or more urgent, with just ten years remaining to the 2030 deadline to achieving the SDGs, the growing understanding of the urgency of addressing Climate Change, and now the COVID-19 crisis, showcasing how interconnected the environment, our prosperity and social wellbeing are. By expanding and mainstreaming ESDGs as part of a higher educational experience, universities can respond and adapt to the needs of our “new normal”.