Achieving the SDGs: the Involvement of Tertiary Students is Integral

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In September 2015, world leaders at the United Nations unanimously adopted Transforming Our
World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development to end extreme poverty fight inequality
and tackle climate change. The SDGs are a set of priorities and aspirations to guide all countries
in tackling the world’s most pressing problems, such as poverty and hunger; protecting the planet
from degradation and addressing climate change.
To achieve this Global Development Agenda, students and tertiary institutions cannot be
overlooked. Universities are noted for their unique role in creating a sustainable future for all.
Currently, universities are progressively re-thinking their role in the twenty-first century to look
more responsive to societal needs while becoming drivers of change towards solving global
challenges.
We must acknowledge that tertiary institutions are in a distinctive position in leading the
implementation of all the goals. They can encompass and address all goals from different areas
of work and action. Universities have long been powerful drivers of change both at local,
regional and global levels and can support the SDGs in myriad ways.
According to SDSN Australia/Pacific report (2019)tertiary institutions are in a unique position
in societies because they are neutral and trusted stakeholders that promote dialogues and spaces
for collaboration between different types of stakeholders and promote certain issues and values
without being swayed by corporate interests.
Ghana Students Accountability Network (GSAN) is a non- partisan student led movement within
tertiary institution in Ghana championing and intensifying the awareness of the United Nations
Agenda 2030. GSAN questioned the public via twitter during the 4
th
anniversary ofthe SDGs to
solicit views of students regarding the SDGs. GSAN asked “Are the tertiary institutions
preparing students towards the achievement of the SDGs?
It was interesting to establish that, the SDGs which were mounted on the principle of “Leave No
One Behind” have already left university students behind.I am in my final year at University
but I still don’t understand what the SDGs seek to address. Authorities must make the SDGs an
integral part of school curriculum and research” a student from Knutsford university college
state

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