In September 2015, countries adopted a new sustainable development agenda and a new global agreement on climate change. The actions taken in 2015 resulted in new sustainable development goals that build on the eight Millennium Development Goals.
The new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) agenda that all countries in the world are now following in setting their own development platforms includes 17 goals and 169 specific targets. The SDG Agenda was officially launched in the context of the UN General Assembly meetings in late September 2015.
Ukraine, like other UN member states, has joined the global process of achieving sustainable development. To establish a strategic framework for the national development of Ukraine for the period until 2030, based on the principle of “Leave no one aside”, an inclusive process of adaptation of the Sustainable Development Goals was launched.
In order to raise awareness and interest in the SDGs, a permanent Workshop on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The objectives of NURE to implement the SDGs has been established at our university. At the event, presentations by scientists working on issues related to the SDGs will be presented, recommendations on how to achieve the SDGs by the university will be developed, discussions on the implementation of the SDG achievement tools will be held. The priority of this initiative is to provide an analytical and systematic approach in studying the problems and opportunities of the university in achieving specific SDGs.
Using their unique position in society, universities – both individually and in partnership, collectively – can help guide, direct and support local, national and international organizations for the SDGs. In most countries, including ours, the public knows little about the SDGs and their significance and is not able to actively participate in their implementation. The university can act as a key factor for the introduction of the SDGs into the mass consciousness through the dissemination of knowledge in the most convenient and understandable form for society. Universities are a source of knowledge, perform a special mission for the benefit of society and traditionally occupy a unique position in society – this makes them particularly suitable for leadership in the implementation of the SDGs.
The United Nations program Transforming our World: A Sustainable Development Agenda to 2030 is one of the most ambitious and important global agreements in recent history. The SDG is a new agenda that provides governments, business, industry, civil society and education with the foundation for working together towards the future we want to build.
To create a sustainable world and deal with issues related to sustainable development, people need the knowledge, skills, values and attitudes that enable them to contribute to sustainable development. Therefore, education plays a crucial role in achieving these goals.
However, not all types of education support sustainable development. Education that contributes only to economic growth can lead to an increase in unsustainable consumption patterns. “Education for Sustainable Development” provides an opportunity to make informed decisions and responsible measures to ensure the integrity of the environment, economic viability and a fair society for present and future generations. All educational institutions should consider it their duty to deal intensively with sustainable development issues, promote the development of sustainable development competencies and develop specific training programs related to the SDGs. Therefore, it is vital not only to include content related to the achievement of the SDGs in curricula, but also to use goal-oriented transformational pedagogy.
Our University is unique, like others, and for universities there is no single “right” way to achieve the SDGs. How each particular university will operate will depend on their size, context, strengths in research or education, availability of funding, values, priorities, and the needs of the society it serves.