How can the University and its partners support the educational objectives of sustainable development in Finland and internationally? Answers to this question were sought at the SDG4: Contribution of Global Education seminar held on 23­–24 October in Ruusupuisto.

The UN Sustainable Development Goals aim at making the world a better place for everyone. The developmental objectives set in 2015 are universal and concern all countries as well as us as individuals. Because the responsibility belongs to everybody, Finland is also committed to contributing to the efforts to meet these important and interconnected objectives. Of the 17 goals, the fourth is to guarantee equitable and high-quality education for all children in the world by 2030, and to foster possibilities for lifelong learning globally.

In Finland, the University of Jyväskylä has for several years been in charge of publishing UNESCO follow-up reports on progress towards the educational objectives. The SDG4 Seminar, which is organised around the publication of the report, annually brings together over a hundred students, teachers and experts interested in global educational issues to discuss and consider solutions for developmental issues. This year the seminar dealt with how the awareness of global developmental issues can be increased by global education, and how everyone can play a part in achieving the developmental objectives.

“The aim is to provide a basis for the participants to consider how they can be involved in building quality and equitable education, and what their role is in this development work,” says Senior Researcher Hanna Posti-Ahokas, who was in charge of arranging the seminar. “This year we wanted to support especially master’s level and doctoral students by giving them an opportunity to present their research.”

The theme of the seminar, arranged by the Faculty of Education and Psychology, was global education. To ensure sustainable development, it is important to consider the future goals of the development measures. In Finland, where the standard and equity of education are among the highest in the world, it is essential not only to maintain the achieved level of education, but also to share related expertise and contribute to international educational development. The seminar presented examples of past research and accompanying pedagogical practices that increase awareness and help meet the developmental objectives. The two-day seminar provided many answers to the question of “How can I contribute?”

Visit the seminar website at http://r.jyu.fi/sdg4-2018

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