Higher Education Institutions - key drivers of the Sustainable Development Goals

Published: July 26, 2017
Higher Education Institutions - key drivers of the Sustainable Development Goals

The Higher Education Sustainability Initiative (HESI), a partnership between United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, UNESCO, United Nations Environment, UN Global Compact’s Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME) initiative, United Nations University (UNU), UN-HABITAT and UNCTAD, was created in 2012 in the run-up to the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20). With commitments from over 300 universities from around the world, HESI accounted for more than one-third of all the voluntary commitments that were launched at Rio+20. Through its strong association with the United Nations, HESI provides higher education institutions with a unique interface between higher education, science, and policy making. 

In support of the follow-up and review framework of the 2030 Agenda, UN DESA has collaborated with a flagship initiative supported by HESI – The SULITEST – and has include questions around the SDGs in the Sulitest assessment platform for assessing knowledge of students of Higher Education Institutions around the world. To date, over 60,000 tests have been administered. The results of which can be found in this report 'Mapping Awareness of the Global Goals'.


HESI provides a unique interface for higher education institutions to share their experiences and strategies for advancing the sustainable development agenda. 
All higher education institutions may join the network freely. Higher education institutions part of HESI commit to: 

1) Teach sustainable development across all disciplines of study, 
2) Encourage research and dissemination of sustainable development knowledge, 
3) Green campuses and support local sustainability efforts, and 
4) Engage and share information with international networks. 

Join by clicking “Register initiative” at: https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/partnerships/hesi