ISSUE 01 | 25 MARCH 2019

With only two months until the 7th ASEF Rectors’ Conference and Students’ Forum (ARC7), we are delighted to present our first Bulletin. We wish to share regular conference updates with you in this form, while also showcasing articles, research outputs, and surveys conducted by our organising partners in line with the ARC7 topic “Higher Education Taking Action Towards the Sustainable Development Goals: Perspectives from Asia and Europe”. We hope that this food for thought will inspire further conversations and exchanges. Should you wish to contribute with a piece, do not hesitate to let us know at arc@asef.org. 

Practical Information

Hotel Bookings

Deadlines for booking with a discounted price at the ARC7 recommended hotels are approaching fast. Please make sure you contact the preferred hotel directly at your earliest convenience. Some deadlines are as early as 31 March 2019. This does not apply to resource persons.

Airport Pickup

Our generous host, the National University of Political Studies and Public Administration (SNSPA) will be arranging airport pick up for all participants arriving between 12-13 May 2019. Shuttles will be running every 1,5 hours.

Visa Application

Read information on the application process and rules concerning the diplomatic / official passports carefully. Holders of Schengen visa with multiple entries are exempted from a Romanian visa if the number of entries/length of stay has not been exhausted.

Local Transportation

SNSPA will arrange pickup service in the mornings and drop off in the evenings during the conference for participants booking their accommodation at one of the recommended hotels (min. 5 pax neccessary).

Food for Thought

Rising to the Challenges of SDGs in Asia

Last November the 4th AsiaEngage Regional Conference was hosted by Chiang Mai University and Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia on behalf of the permanent secretariat ASEAN University Network (AUN) – our ARC7 organising partner – on the topic “Rising to the Challenges of SDGs in Asia: Key Challenges for University-Community Engagement”. The conference focused on research, education, and engagement missions of higher education institutions for mutually beneficial partnerships and universities’ internationalisation. In the conference report, scholars published their research abstracts including SDG case studies and research on innovation for sustainable development.

Universities and Sustainable Development Towards the SDGs

Access to quality education is crucial for sustainable development. The European University Association (EUA) – our ARC7 organising partner – is the representative organisation of more than 800 universities in 47 European countries. To learn more about the role of EUA in placing universities as key contributors to achieving the SDGs, access the paper through the link.

Report on Higher Education Paving the Way to Sustainable Development

The International Association of Universities (IAU) – our ARC7 organising partner – launched its first “Global Survey on the Role of Higher Education in Fostering Sustainable Development” in 2016. 120 HEIs from all continents took part in the survey, and the results highlight the fact that there is still much to be done. 45% of respondents said their higher education institutions adopted a whole institution approach; 34% declared their higher education institutions adopted a strategic plan related to sustainable development; and 38% stated that it is currently being developed. 

Student Perceptions of Sustainability in Higher Education

88% of international students would accept a salary 5% lower than average to work in a company with a good social and environmental record. In 2018, the Singaporean National Union of Students (nus) carried out a research with university students world-wide to learn more about their vision and expectations on the role of universities with regard to the SDGs. To see the results, view the infographic.

Meet the #ARC7 Students' Forum Organising Committee

ARC7 is a two-in-one event, with the Rectors’ Conference taking place between 12-14 May 2019, and the Students’ Forum taking place between 11-15 May 2019 in Bucharest, Romania. Members of the ARC7 Students’ Forum Organising Committe – Katrina Koppel, Vice President of the European Students’ Union (ESU), João Pinto, President of the Erasmus Student Network (ESN) and Lucia Loposova, Vice-President of the Erasmus Mundus Association (EMA) – shared with us their vision of good practices in implementing the SDGs in higher education and stressed the important role of students in university decision-making bodies to push for sustainability.

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