Rector Prof. Dr. İnci at the UN SDSN Turkey meeting: "As universities, we can be leaders in sustainability"
UN SDSN (United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network) The board meeting of Turkish members was held on June 14 at Boğaziçi University, Nafi Baba Building. 28 rectors, vice-rectors and representatives of universities and two NGOs attended the meeting, which evaluated new projects and participants' proposals within the framework of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) (UN), which were set in 2015 and are to be achieved by 2030.
"WE SHOULD URGENTLY UPDATE OUR EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMMES"
At the opening of the meeting, the President of UN SDSN Turkey and Rector of Boğaziçi University, Prof. Dr. Mehmet Naci İnci, spoke about the outstanding projects and activities in the world, Turkey and Boğaziçi University regarding these goals. Rector Prof. Dr. İnci emphasised that the desired progress on the SDGs has not yet been achieved:
"Today, as we are in the middle of our journey towards 2030, we have unfortunately not achieved the desired progress on the Sustainable Development Goals. However, compared to 2015, there is a significant increase in awareness across all levels of society today. As universities, we should urgently update our education programs, taking into account the increasing demand for education on the SDGs and global risks and solutions."
"WE ARE THE LEADER AMONG THE SECTORS IN THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE GOALS"
Rector Prof. Dr. İnci emphasised that universities have a great responsibility to better achieve the Sustainable Development Goals: "We can become sustainability champions, not only to perform better in sustainability indexes, but also through joint efforts that benefit society, the environment and the economy." The research and development studies we are conducting toward these goals are attracting the attention of investors, who are now paying much closer attention to sustainability criteria than in the past. Industry interest in working within the framework of science-based goals has increased. Within this framework, the collaborations we have established at the local, national and international levels strengthen our universities in sharing knowledge and experience and developing solutions to our pressing problems, and facilitate our access to limited financial resources. In educating our children and young people to find and implement solutions to the problems we face today and the uncertainties we will face in the future, we must always keep in mind that we are leaders among sectors in the implementation of these goals."
"WE ARE TAKING STEPS TO FURTHER DEVELOP THE NETWORK"
In his presentation summarizing the activities of UN SDSN Turkey, Prof. Dr. Gürkan Selçuk Kumbaroğlu, Director of UN SDSN Turkey and Vice Rector of Boğaziçi University, said that UN SDSN Turkey is in a new initiative to develop its network. In this context, Vice Rector Prof. Dr. Kumbaroğlu stated that the meetings will make a very important contribution with the proposals of the participants:
"We are talking about an international network with a total of 1816 members, and as the Turkish National Network, we are part of the Black Sea and Mediterranean regional networks. It is important that we are active in these international networks. However, as UN SDSN Turkey, we are in a breakthrough phase to further expand our network. Annual inventories are prepared, including the activities carried out under the Sustainable Development Goals. These reports, which include data on 17 goals for countries around the world, are easily accessible on the website UN SDSN. You can also access free trainings prepared for the goals by the SDSN Academy. We attach great importance to and contribute to these international reports and trainings, which are open to all."
Vice Rector Prof. Dr. Kumbaroğlu defined the role of universities in the network as "pioneers in developing technical and technological solutions that society needs to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals" and stated that the achievements made with regard to the SDGs will give universities an advantage in the impact ranking of the London-based higher education assessment agency Times Higher Education (THE).
UN SDSN Turkey Board Member and Boğaziçi University Lifelong Learning at Boğaziçi University ( BÜYEM ), Director Dr. Tamer Atabarut and Marta Garcia Haro, Senior Manager of UN SDSN Networks, also informed the participants about the general structure and activities of the network.
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