With the launch of its publication, “Implementing Sustainable Development Goals at Higher Education Institutions: Challenges and Responses”, GUNi organised an Open Debate event with the GUNi Group of Experts on 4th October in Barcelona. The 2nd publication by the Group of Experts was devoted to the implementation of SDGs at Higher Education Institutions and the obstacles they may encounter.
Dr. Rajesh Tandon, Founder-President of PRIA and Co-Chair, UNESCO Chair in Community Based Research and Social Responsibility in Higher Education, contributed to the publication with a piece titled, “Disciplines, Professions and Sustainable Development Goals: Challenges in Higher Education in India” with a peer. He participated in the Open Debate event with a presentation on the same.
In his presentation, Dr. Tandon touched upon how SDGs and Climate are key public goods, thus higher education institutions (HEIs) need to be socially responsible to support these goals, highlighting the requirement of engaged teaching and research to be prevalent in the institutions. With the problems prevalent in the present day, he stated that there is a dire need to undertake a partnership approach and include multiple perspectives and epistemologies in the research process. Dr. Tandon further described how each SDG entailed a trans-disciplinary understanding and a change was required in the rigid academic structures. Ending his presentation by highlighting the possible future avenues, he stated that there was a need to incentivise socially engaged teaching and locally contextualise the SDGs.