QCU Attends Session on Sustainable Cities at the THE Global Sustainable Development Congress 2024

SDG 11

Representatives from Quezon City University (QCU) attended a masterclass on the contribution of higher education institutions to sustainable cities and communities (SDG 11) at the Times Higher Education Global Sustainable Development Congress (THE GSDC) 2024 in Bangkok, Thailnd. The session, held at the Queen Sirikit National Convention Center, focused on how higher education institutions (HEIs) can collaborate with governments, local stakeholders, and citizens to tackle urban challenges based on United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO) report titled “The Contribution of Higher Education Institutions to Sustainable Cities and Communities.”

Victoria Galan-Muros, Chief of Research and Analysis at the International Institute for Higher Education – UNESCO, discussed the multifaceted role of HEIs in promoting sustainable urban development. She emphasized the importance of integrating local needs into educational offerings, addressing urban challenges through research, and engaging in participatory research that includes community stakeholders. Victoria also highlighted the necessity of training teachers on local impacts and ensuring that research incorporates specific gender issues and other local perspectives.

Victoria outlined some key areas in the report where HEIs can make a significant impact. Here are some highlights:

  • Teaching and Learning: Integrating local needs into curricula and training teachers to understand and address these issues.
  • Research: Conducting participatory research that directly addresses urban challenges and involves community stakeholders.
  • Engagement: Partnering with local governments and social and environmental entities to develop solutions for urban planning and sustainability. This includes offering cultural programs and opening campus spaces to the public.
  • Governance and Administration: Providing sustainable commuting options, affordable housing, and shared infrastructure with external stakeholders.

Ishan Cader, Director of Consultancy at THE, discussed the importance of evidence-based submissions in driving institutional change. He explained that institutions are scored based on whether their evidence is generic or specific, with specific evidence referring to publicly available documentation of a policy or strategy making a tangible impact. “It is the rankings that can drive forward strategic change and policy formulation,” Ishan noted, emphasizing how performance metrics can influence institutional priorities and actions toward sustainability.

The two speakers also presented case studies of universities that have implemented effective projects related to SDG 11, including Aswan University, University of Johannesburg, University of São Paulo, and National Taiwan University.

QCU participants, including Dr. Theresita V. Atienza, University President, and Mr. Angelito P. Bautista Jr., Director for Research, Extension, Planning, and Linkages – Research Management Office, attended the session to gain insights into best practices for promoting sustainable urban development.

This session at THE GSDC 2024 highlighted the vital role of higher education institutions in the Philippines and globally in promoting sustainable urban development. The event, uniting over 3,000 delegates, including representatives from 56 Philippine HEIs led by the Commission on Higher Education, continues to foster collaboration and innovation for a more sustainable future.









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