The Award Ceremony of the 2023 International Awards for Excellence in Higher Education managed by the Center for Learning Innovations and Customized Knowledge Solutions (CLICKS) will take place on the 9th of March, 2023 in the fascinating city of Dubai, UAE. The second edition of the award will be accompanied by a symposium addressing the role of universities in achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Higher Education Institutions have always played a crucial role in our society, economy and environment and contributing in addressing some of the world’s greatest challenges. They are seen as prime creators and originators of knowledge, research and innovation in today’s knowledge-based economy as well as a key player in educating new generations and developing the future workforce. Within the context of the 2030 agenda, they are pivotal to the achievement of the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs which serve as a blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all through addressing the global challenges we face, including: poverty, inequality, climate change, environmental degradation, peace and justice and quality education can help transform and shape the purpose of our universities today. Higher education has the ability to support both directly and indirectly the achievement of these goals; this implies the pressing need to obtain a deep understanding on how universities can transform themselves through a stakeholders’ approach and contribute to the SDGs in terms of research, engagement with the community, teaching and learning and curricula design, among others. They need to identify priority action areas and mobilize resources, promote advocacy and engagement and determine appropriate mechanisms to monitor and evaluate their progress and achievements against the SDGs.

What can the universities do to achieve the SDGs?

  • Equip students and the wider community with the knowledge, skills, and motivation tounderstand and address the SDGs
  • Create opportunities for student training and building professional skills in developing countries to meet challenges related to the SDGs.
  • Support the full spectrum of research work needed to address the SDGs, including interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research.
  • Foster innovative solutions for sustainable development.
  • Align university governance structures and operational policies with the SDGs


  • Provide a dynamic and open platform to share and discuss contemporary practice and initiatives in sustainable education
  • Discuss how higher education is transforming itself and gearing up its activities to contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals laid out by the 2030 Agenda.
  • Identify the key challenges and barriers stand in the way of transformations needed to contribute to the achievement of the SDGs
  • Provide evidence-informed examples and ideas for universities to integrate sustainability in the institution’s strategy and activities
  • Examine the key leadership and governance principles and practices required to leading sustainability as a core purpose of Higher Education.