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University groups form global forum to boost collaboration

Image: smolaw, via Shutterstock

Plans include supporting academic freedom and promoting higher education’s importance to sustainable development

University associations from around the world have come together to create a new global group to address issues related to international collaboration and academic exchange.

The Global University Associations Forum, formed on 17 May in Spain, consists of member associations in Africa, the Americas, the Arab region, Asia and Europe, members including the European University Association announced on 3 June.

Planned actions include promoting the role of higher education in achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals, emphasising respect for academic freedom and committing to sharing resources including data.

In a statement, the forum said: “Creating and sustaining frameworks that promote exchange across higher education and research systems is a pivotal step towards safeguarding the future of our communities and our planet.

“Without robust structures for collaboration in research and education at global scale, society will be ill-equipped to tackle climate change, protect the environment, pursue the global health of its citizens, and move collectively towards building sustainable societies and circular economies.”

The forum’s next meeting will take place in 2023, under the chairmanship of the Asean University Network of Southeast Asia.