“There is no Plan B, because we do not have Planet B. We should work closely together to make this year a year of global action, one that will be remembered as the dawn of a new era of sustainable development.”
When I read this quote by UN Secretary-General Ban-Ki Moon I could easily relate the same with our own REVA University. Higher education institutions, as you are all aware, have a significant role to play in sustainability. They play a crucial role in educating future leaders who will support the effective achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).
Although it is well known that the geography of the SDGs is diverse, I have found that higher education institutions have a significant impact on the dissemination of the SDGs' guiding principles.
Particularly in this post-pandemic era, it has gained even more significance. The awareness of students' learning habits is growing. The pedagogy and the entire educational system have undergone significant change. It is critical in this situation for higher education institutions like ours to adhere to these ideals and infuse them with a social viewpoint.
I read somewhere that the higher education industry has a significant influence on students' behaviours and contributions to a more successful and civil society as a transformational agent. However, for such a transition to take place, the SDGs must be included in every educational institution's core mission. By putting into practice important SDGs like gender equality, waste reduction, energy consumption, and climate change, among others, educational institutions must provide an example for others to follow. This needs to become a reality by involving the students in various forms of communication. These important issues, such as sustainability principles, the political environment, and even the interests of stakeholders, need to be addressed both inside and outside the institutional framework.
It should be emphasised that renowned institutions of higher learning, including MIT, Stanford, and Monash University, have effectively incorporated the SDGs into their curricula across a variety of fields and are currently running multi-themed programmes and courses to accomplish these objectives. Personally, I believe that by adapting these SDGs to the Indian environment, we can also achieve these goals much more effectively. To empower teachers and improve their non-verbal communication, REVA—the torchbearer of holistic education in India—has introduced Abhivyakti, a novel certification programme for K-12 teachers. The School of Performing Arts & Indic Studies has also produced Pañcavaktra?, a production that aims to revive our ancient traditions and culture while also promoting art in accordance with the SDGs.
Higher education institutions, which make up the future generation as we all know, have a number of experts who can develop ways to move closer to the SDGs through research, conversations, and talks. Higher educational institutions also influence the community to have the right attitude to adhere to SDG goals of a sustainable campus, thereby creating a sustainable community.