The 5th Arab Conference on Higher Education and Sustainable Development
Sunday، 10 September 2023 - 12:00 AM
The Egyptian Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, Dr. Ayman Ashour inaugurated, on Sunday 10 September, 2023, the 5th Arab Conference on Higher Education and Sustainable Development, which is held under the title "The Role of Universities in Achieving the SDGs", the 10th and 11th of September.
The conference is organized by the Arab Administrative Development Organization (ARADO) in collaboration with the Association of Arab Universities, with the participation of Dr. Nasser Al-Hattlan Al-Qahtani, Director General ARADO, and Dr. Amr Ezzat Salama, Secretary General of the Association of Arab Universities, along with a number of deans of Egyptian and Arab universities and experts in higher education in Egypt and the Arab region.
In his speech, Dr. Ayman Ashour affirmed that sustainable development is a vital and important topic for the future of the Arab world, and universities are the ideal setting to achieve the integration of the dimensions of sustainable economic, social, and environmental development that meets the objectives set by the United Nations. He indicated the role of universities and scientific research institutions in providing young people with the knowledge and skills necessary to meet the complex challenges surrounding us, as well as their extended impact to guide innovation and contribute effectively to shaping policies and guiding societies towards sustainable development.
Additionally, Ashour referred to the efforts made by the Egyptian Ministry of Higher Education to activate the role of universities in sustainable development issues, raise students' awareness of their goals and encourage them to participate in assuming their responsibilities. Finally, Ashour expressed his wishes for the conference to succeed in achieving its objectives, be an opportunity to build a strong cooperation and integration network, and exchange experiences and visions that contribute to enhancing the role of higher education in achieving sustainable development.
For his part, Dr. Salama emphasized the significance of collective Arab action to achieve the development goals required by Arab societies as well as the creation of partnerships between various Arab institutions to maximize their efforts in addressing new challenges, particularly high youth unemployment, health threats, biodiversity loss, and natural disasters, highlighting the centrality of science in addressing these dangers and safeguarding the planet through the role of universities.
Meanwhile, Al-Qahtani thanked the Minister for sponsoring the conference. And he explained that the conference aims to provide an Arab platform to highlight the role of universities in achieving the SDGs, such as improving the quality of life in societies, eliminating poverty, promoting learning, and achieving integration between Arab efforts to meet the challenges of sustainable development, pointing out the importance of the role of universities in particular, which play a vital role in transferring knowledge and science and providing initiatives and solutions.
He also mentioned the need to overcome the challenges universities face in carrying out their developmental role, such as funding and infrastructure, utilizing scientific research, and international cooperation, as well as to maximize the role of universities in absorbing the outcomes of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the requirements it imposed. He pointed out that this conference is a great opportunity to exchange ideas and experiences on ways to enhance the role of universities.
The conference's inaugural session covered academic leaders' expectations for how universities will contribute to the realization of the SDGs. University presidents from Egypt and the Arab world who were present gave presentations on their institutions' experiences with sustainable development, the criteria for including Arab universities in plans to achieve sustainable development goals, and the function of Arab universities in carrying out these plans.