Making SDGs reality: Discussing role of higher education in sustainable development at network meeting of bilateral SDG Graduate Schools in Ethiopia

January 14, 2019.  

Seven bilateral graduate schools from Germany, Latin America, Asia and Africa met in Ethiopia November 28-December 2, 2018, at the 2nd Network Meeting of the Bilateral SDG Graduate Schools to discuss and evaluate the role of higher education in achieving the SDGs.

Among the participants were ZEF researchers of the “Doctoral Studies Support Program on Environmental Peace-building and Development in Colombia”. The Hawassa University together with its German partner Food Security Center of the University of Hohenheim hosted the network meeting . The partners invited all seven bilateral graduate schools to discuss the outcomes and challenges of the program with regard to achieving the SDGs via higher education.

Sustainable development through international university partnerships

The DAAD-program "Bilateral SDG Graduate Schools", funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), focuses on the realization of the Agenda 2030 with its 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Through global partnerships between German universities and partner universities in Latin America, Asia and Africa, countries from the North and the South strive to contribute to sustainable development worldwide. For achieving these goals higher education institutions play an important role.

At the partner universities in the Global South new local structures are being established or expanded where young scientists and professionals are trained to address today's global challenges. The new cooperation between researchers from different world regions enhances joint knowledge production towards sustainable solutions to local and global problems.

Different regional perspectives - same global problems

Examples of these global partnerships are :
- The project CLIFOOD hosted in Hawassa and Hohenheim deals with climate change effects on food security in East Africa. The doctoral students conduct interdisciplinary research on sustainable adaptation strategies in agriculture.
- In Vietnam the National University (VNU-HUS) and their cooperation partner in Rostock support future professionals for achieving an environmentally-friendly and sustainable chemical industry.
- The Colombian-German school DSSP, hosted by IDEA in Bogotá and ZEF in Bonn, focuses on land use, natural resources, governance and conflict in Colombia against the background of the peace agreement signed in 2016. 

The Network Meeting illustrated the thematic diversity but also the common ground of the seven DAAD Bilateral SDG Graduate Schools. All projects in natural or social sciences are engaged in capacity-building and try to develop a research agenda addressing different SDGs.

These network meetings give the opportunity to share experiences in establishing cross-continental structures and enable to see global problems from different regional perspectives.           

Further information:
<link http: dssp index.html> and <link http: sdg-kollegs external-link-new-window internal link in current>


Emilia Schmidt


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