Sustainable Development Goals

Teaching students about the Sustainable Development Goals and their application is key to the long-term health of the planet. We all share the work of protecting the planet as pressure continues to mount on the ecosystems that sustain life. The United Nations has developed the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development as an action plan implemented through 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). At NYU Abu Dhabi, our classrooms can be wonderful spaces, for conducting research and building awareness about sustainable development in the UAE and the world.

Higher education is integral to the realization of the SDGs through research and preparing future critical decision-makers. In line with the National Climate Change Plan of the UAE 2017–2050 and NYU’s commitment to a more sustainable future, the Office of Sustainability and Stewardship at NYUAD works towards a comprehensive Climate Action Plan that aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions around campus through combined efforts of teaching, research, and engagement. The Hilary Ballon Center for Teaching and Learning provides facilities and resources for embedding SGDs into their teaching.

Video: Embedding SDGs in Your Course

The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a collection of seventeen interconnected objectives targeting global challenges such as poverty and climate change. As educators, we have the power to create impact by helping our students understand the role of these goals with our discipline. This video presents useful strategies on how to inculcate SDGs within your course as well as your teaching practices.

Integrating the SDGs Into Your Course

Integrating UNFCCC Climate Negotiations in Your Course

The Conference of the Parties (COP) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is an annual climate change conference that invites world leaders to collaboratively discuss concrete and credible solutions for climate change. COP28 takes place from November 30 until December 12, 2023, in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

For higher education, COPs offer valuable, authentic learning opportunities to link classroom knowledge with negotiations and discussions of complex real-life challenges posed by climate change. Specifically, COPs can aid authentic learning in the following ways:

  • Provide real-life context to be explored in your course.
  • Serve as authentic tasks for learning by outlining real-life problems related to climate change and the negotiations.
  • Offer access to excellent examples of expert performance and standard procedures. 

To integrate UNFCCC climate negotiations in your course learning outcomes, it is also essential to think about the following questions:

  1. What are your course learning outcomes?
  2. How can you use the COP events to achieve your learning outcomes?

Your reflections on the above questions are the key to the successful authentic learning of your students. You can also consider the following four approaches to integrate UNFCCC climate negotiations in your course.

Four (4) Approaches to Integrate UNFCCC Climate Negotiations

Examples of Classes Incorporating SDGs Within Syllabi

Potential SDG Collaborators at NYUAD

The below open events are great learning grounds to embed in your course regardless of the discipline.

The campus and our social systems make for excellent real-world application of sustainability-related classroom learning, activities, and assessment.

The below events can be embedded into course design to activate motivation and student engagement with the course material.