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A Virtual International Conference On Redefining And Transforming The Role Of Higher Education In Sustainable Development

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Date(s) - 30/09/2021
9:45 am

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The Virtual International Conference was hosted by Jain University on 30th September at 9:45 am IST on “Redefining And Transforming The Role Of Higher Education For Sustainable Development”. Dr. Rajesh Tandon gave the keynote address at the event titled “Socially Responsible Higher Education Promotes Sustainability.”

He began by speaking about how a socially responsible higher education was the solution for higher education to contribute effectively to sustainable development. He discussed Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the Indian context and how the Indian government has linked several ministries’ functions towards achieving SDGs. The NITI Aayog has also prepared a national index with SDG indicators and targets for different states. Dr Tandon stated that SDG indicators and targets need to be seen in an integrated manner and contextualised for different settings locally.

He then spoke of the lessons learnt from the pandemic, where only locally sustainable communities with local capacities and resources could sustain during the national lockdowns when global and national supply chains were disrupted. Higher education institutions can support not just building human and institutional capacities for sustainable development, but also in producing new actionable knowledge. Dr Tandon emphasised the three missions of higher education; i.e. teaching and learning, research and knowledge and engaged service.

In terms of engaged pedagogy, the focus must be on quality education for lifelong learning. Research and knowledge need to be produced with those communities who need them the most. New competencies need to be developed, where learners are able to connect what they read with what they observe around them. Finally outlining three core principles that HEIs must follow, he stated that education and learning must contribute to societal good, experiential knowledge must be valued of the local community and the purpose of education must be seen to produce good citizens who work for their welfare, but also for the welfare of their communities.

Find Dr. Tandon’s ppt here.

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