ProSPER.Net E-Bulletin Issue 111 (April 2022)

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Message from the ProSPER.Net Secretariat

Dear Colleagues and Friends,

Greetings from the ProSPER.Net Secretariat! This month, we are very pleased to share with you a new ProSPER.Net Report highlighting the achievements of the network from 2015-2021. The report presents the initiatives the network has conducted over this period, with a focus on curriculum development, capacity building, and policy advice.

We are also delighted to share a new ProSPER.Net joint research project to be led by RMIT University, focusing on circular economy integration in selected sustainable built environment programs within partner universities of the project. See below for further details.

If you have any news, open calls, upcoming events, or publications you wish to share in a future bulletin, please complete this form and email your submission to the ProSPER.Net Secretariat at ProSPERNet@unu.edu (submissions close on the 15th of each month).

Sincerely,

ProSPER.Net Secretariat

ProSPER.Net Report Highlights Network Achievements for the SDGs from 2015-2021

The ProSPER.Net Report, ‘Enabling Higher Education for the Sustainable Development Goals 2015-2021’, released in April 2022, compiles ProSPER.Net projects, programmes and events undertaken during the seven-year period from 2015-2021.

As a network of higher education institutions in the Asia-Pacific region, ProSPER.Net’s work has supported the implementation of the UN Agenda 2030 and the SDGs through the Global Action Programme (GAP) on Education for Sustainable Development (2015-2019), and now the ESD for 2030 framework (2020-2030).

The report presents initiatives conducted within the ProSPER.Net alliance, with a focus on:  

• Curriculum development – demonstrated through 12 joint projects conducted across the network integrating sustainability into curricula. The projects featured each contain synopses on the contexts, processes, outcomes, impacts, recommendations and lessons learned from wide-ranging experiences of the network; 

• Capacity building – programmes designed for young professionals and postgraduate students to equip them with knowledge and skills on leadership for sustainability and research, including four ProSPER.Net Young Researchers’ Schools and six ProSPER.Net Leadership Programmes; and

• Policy advice – engaging with and supporting policymakers through initiatives in education and research. ProSPER.Net has also organised nine ProSPER.Net Forum on Sustainability in Higher Education events where members deliberate policy issues and implications of ProSPER.Net joint projects and other initiatives on policymaking in HEIs.

As ProSPER.Net continues on its mission to transform higher education institutions, the next five years sees the network focusing its programmes and projects on key thematic areas: Climate Change (Planet); Circular Economy (Prosperity), and Equity and Inclusion (People). ProSPER.Net programmes and initiatives will be synergised across these areas through curriculum development, capacity building, policy advice, and facilitating mobility, to support and deliver on the implementation of the UN Agenda 2030 and the SDGs.

Read the full report here.

Open Calls

Reminder: 2022 ProSPER.Net Membership Applications

Applications are still open for membership to ProSPER.Net for 2022. Membership is limited to higher education institutions located in the Asia-Pacific region that offer postgraduate education and research in sustainable development (SD) and in fields related to education for sustainable development (ESD). An affiliate membership category is also open to higher education institutions located outside the Asia-Pacific region who are interested in working together with the network for the benefit of the region. Read more about the application process and how to apply here. The deadline for applications is 31 May, 2022 (11:59pm JST).

Have Your Say: IAU Global Survey on Higher Education and Research for Sustainable Development

The International Association of Universities (IAU) has launched its 3rd iteration of the IAU Global Survey on Higher Education and Research for Sustainable Development (HESD) 2022 – Accelerating Action for the SDGs.

The survey uses the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs as a framework to foster better understanding of how HEIs engage with sustainable development (SD), how they work, who is working on this at the institutional level and which SDGs are mainly in the focus. Furthermore, the outcomes of the survey will be useful for HEIs engaging or wishing to engage with SD; and to advocate for the significant role of higher education in implementing the 2030 Agenda at the UN level and to national governments.

Learn more here, or take the survey in English, French, or Spanish

It is recommended that only one response per institution is submitted, and that ideally, the person is familiar with the SD work at the institution (e.g. leadership, advisor, other). The questionnaire takes approximately 30 min to complete. The deadline to fill out the survey is 15 May, 2022.

Applications Open: APEC-Australia Women in Research Fellowship 2022

The Australian APEC Study Centre at RMIT University is pleased to announce the opening of applications for the 2022 APEC – Australia Women in Research Fellowship. This exciting opportunity supports women’s economic empowerment in the APEC region and human capital development in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)-related fields in developing economies.

Funded by the Australian Government Department of Education, Skills and Employment, there are 20 fellowships available of up to AU$20,000 in financial support each for female researchers from developing APEC economies to work in partnership with an Australian education institution to undertake a research project over one to four months. This opportunity is open to citizens and permanent residents from People’s Republic of China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Philippines, Thailand, and Viet Nam. Applications close on 17 May, 2022. Read more

Upcoming Events

Registrations Open for HESI+10 Global Forum and Webinars

Organised by the the Higher Education Sustainability Initiative (HESI), the HESI+10 Global Forum will take place on 6 July, 2022 as a virtual event. The forum will place a particular focus on deepening the understanding of the challenges and opportunities the higher education community can play in building back better from COVID-19 while advancing the full implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, in line with the theme of High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) in 2022. 

Three open webinars on topics related the theme of HLPF will be held in the lead-up to the forum:

• Webinar 1: Transformation of higher education post COVID-19, 27 April, 09:00-10.30 (EDT)

• Webinar 2: Integrating Sustainable Development Goals into higher education, 31 May, 09:00-10.30 (EDT) 

• Webinar 3: Inspirational higher education initiatives for SDG 4, 5, 14 and 15, 21 June, 09:00-10.30 (EDT)

Learn more about these events here, or register for these events here.

Save the Dates: UNESCO-UNFCCC Webinar Series – Climate Change Education and Social Transformation

UNESCO-UNFCCC’s Webinar Series, On the Road to COP27, is dedicated to the goal of greening every education policy and curriculum to be climate ready. Taking place on the last Tuesday of every month, each episode will explore the critical role of climate change education, and how to harness its transformative power, in leading up to COP27. The dates are as follows: 26 April; 31 May; 28 June; 26 July; 30 August; 27 September; 25 October; 29 November. Sign up for the first webinar, ‘Why Climate Change Education for Social Transformation?’ (26 April, 10:00 GMT +2) here.

Latest News

ProSPER.Net Joint Research Project: Circular Economy Integration for Sustainable Built Environment Education

Under the guidance of the Innovation and Education (IVE) Programme of the United Nations University Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS), (Secretariat of ProSPER.Net), RMIT University will lead a joint project focusing on circular economy integration in selected built environment programs in partner universities of the project.

The universities involved in this project are Peradeniya University, TERI School of Advanced Studies, Asian Institute of Technology, Arabaev Kyrgyz State University and Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS. The following activities will be conducted in relation to the ProSPER.Net Joint Research Project on ‘Circular Economy Integration for Sustainable Built Environment Education’, supported by the Ministry of the Environment of Japan through UNU-IAS.  

The main tasks to be delivered under this project are:

1. Conduct literature review leading to the development of the case study template

2. Identify case studies and explore institutional opportunities for curricular engagement 

3. Organise a ProSPER.Net webinar during the first few months of project initiation

4. Draft a working paper on case studies and finalise the project midterm report

5. Integrate case studies into curricula and develop a guidebook on teaching circular economy on built environment with indicators

6. Undertake surveys or interviews to get feedback from students and teaching staff 

7. Draft a journal paper 

8. Conduct project evaluation and finalise the project final report

Further information about this joint project can be found here.

SDSN Youth AusNZPac Release Student Position Statement on the Climate Crisis and Universities

In October 2021, the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) Australia, New Zealand and Pacific Youth branch brought together student sustainability leaders from across the region to workshop the top priority climate action goals and support needs that students want from their university. A Student Position Statement was developed, outlining the goals they want their universities to achieve and the support needed for climate-action projects. Read more

ESD Publications & Other

The Second IAU Global Survey Report on the Impact of COVID-19

The International Association of Universities (IAU) has launched a report ‘Higher Education One Year into the Covid-19 Pandemic’, following the second edition of a global survey conducted on the impact of COVID-19 on higher education. The survey gathered institutional responses across four main areas: governance; teaching and learning; research; and community/societal engagement.

The report highlights trends from a global perspective, in addition to a comparison between regions, and public and private HEIs. UNU-IAS contributed to the survey on which the report is based, and produced one of the report’s regional perspective sections that focuses on the Asia-Pacific region.

The results of the survey highlight both the resilience demonstrated by the higher education sector, but also of the challenges brought about by the pandemic. It provides a detailed picture of the impact of COVID-19 on the sector, and can serve as a valuable resource to address these challenges, but also to pursue new opportunities that the pandemic has created.

Find out more and download the report here.

RCE Biodiversity Education Projects Engage Local Communities on Ecosystem Restoration in New Publication from UNU-IAS

A new publication from the United Nations University Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS) has been launched this month, featuring innovative biodiversity education projects developed by Regional Centres of Expertise on Education for Sustainable Development (RCEs).

Engaging Communities for Biodiversity Conservation: Education for Sustainable Development Projects from the Global RCE Network’ features 12 case studies from RCEs conducted during the period of the Global Action Programme (GAP) on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) from 2015-2019. 

Utilising their model of multi-stakeholder networks, RCEs worked with a variety of partners and stakeholders on biodiversity and conservation education initiatives at both local and regional levels. These education projects focused on SDG 14 (Life Below Water) or SDG 15 (Life on Land), and served to educate, engage, and spur action in communities towards the protection and restoration of ecosystems, species, and habitats. 

Read more about this exciting new publication here and the projects featured, or download the full publication here.

RCE Biodiversity Education Projects Featured in New Video

A new video highlighting the RCE Biodiversity Education Projects conducted during the Global Action Programme (GAP) on ESD, from 2015-2019, puts a spotlight on the range of innovative projects focused on biodiversity conservation and ecosystem restoration from the Global RCE Network. 

A total of 135 RCE projects across 30 countries focused on SDG 14 (Life Below Water) or SDG 15 (Life on Land), and were tied to SDG 4 (Quality Education) along with a range of other goals. 

The video provides an overview of the target audiences and thematic areas across the projects completed, following research which analysed the SDGs, themes, institutions, audiences and environments of RCE projects during the GAP.  

A number of projects from the recent publication ‘Engaging Communities for Biodiversity Conservation: Education for Sustainable Development Projects from the Global RCE Network’ are also featured, with RCEs describing the actions they took to address the threats to biodiversity in their region, and the impacts these had on both the biodiversity and community in the region. 

Watch the video here.

This is a publication of UNU-IAS ProSPER.Net Secretariat. The bulletin is a great way to share your activities, events and news as a ProSPER.Net member with the rest of the network. Feel free to send us any information you may deem relevant for the rest of the community by completing this form and emailing it to prospernet@unu.edu. We look forward to your inputs! Visit ProSPER.Net regularly for up-to-date news and event information.

ProSPER.Net Secretariat 

United Nations University 
Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability 
5-53-70 Jingumae, 
Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-8925 
Japan