The Consell de Govern (Governing Council) of the Universitat de València was informed on Tuesday 8th October about a project of the Comissió de Sostenibilitat (Sustainability Committee) to strengthen the commitment of the academic institution with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), which were passed by UN. The Consell has also started the procedures to change the name of the Faculty of Psychology to Faculty of Psychology and Speech Therapy.
The vice-principal of Equality, Diversity and Sustainability, Elena Martínez, has presented the project in order to motivate in the Universitat the Sustainable Development Goals. She has pointed out that this is an opportunity to unify and coordinate all the initiatives that have already executed in this field, re-thinking established inertia and making the most of these measures as internal transformation force and for the society.
According to the submitted documents, it is about “performing a critical and in-depth analysis of these Goals, perceiving universities as a powerful transformer of the society. It is its purpose. The ODS integration in our community is an opportunity to ask us how we could improve our internal and external processes in matters of respect of people and the planet”.
You can only live this process in a participative way, she has added, “where all the people of the university community who want to participate in this stage are involved, as well as civil society, companies, organizations and public administrations, to whom we owe our mission of training professionals and citizens. All of this, with the aim of formulating proposals for change actions at the university itself, which make the Universitat de València not only an entity that disseminates and raises awareness of the process of transformation towards a sustainable society, but also an entity that promulgates and executes 21st century policies that are respectful of people and our environment”.
La Universitat de València carried out in 2011 a project of Sustainable Unit that has the goal of including the sustainability as centre of its strategy. The main idea of this project consisted in driving initiatives to get the sustainable development inside the institution.
The goals pointed out by UN are putting an end to poverty in all its forms throughout the world; putting an end to hunger getting the food security and the nutrition improvement and promote the sustainable agriculture; ensuring healthy lives and promoting the well-being for all at all ages, ensuring an inclusive, fair and quality education and promoting learning opportunities for all people during all their lives; getting gender equality and empowering women and girls; ensuring the water availability and its sustainable management and the sanitation for all people; ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all people; to promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work for all; to build resilient infrastructure, promote sustainable industrialization and foster innovation; reducing inequality within and among countries; to make cities and human settlement inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable; to ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns; to take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts; to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for a sustainable development; sustainably managing forests, combating desertification, halting and reversing land degradation and halting biodiversity loss; to promote peaceful and inclusive societies; and to revitalize the global internship for sustainable development.
Criticism to a university agreement
In the turn to speak, the student union: Bloc d’Estudiants Agermanats has criticised the signature of the agreement with the University of Ariel, located in an Israeli settlement in West Bank. According to a representative of this student union, Israel has been sentenced many times by the Security Council of UN due to its policy of settlements in Palestinian territories, and the signature of this agreement (it was approved on May) goes against the path of the Universitat de València at this point.
The vice-principal of Internationalisation, Carles Padilla, has pointed out that he will consider this particular case, but, in general rule, he has reminded that the Universitat de València have relations with many countries’ universities in spite of do not share the polity of its governments. The principal has also showed in favour of re-analysing this question, and she has taken advantage of remembering these institutional links with the Palestinian people, and she has highlighted a specific collaboration to facilitate the access of Palestinian women to a higher education.
In her report, as usual, the principal has expressed her institutional condolences for the recent death of people of the university community. In this case were Mariano Aguilar, dean of Faculty of Physics, Magdalena López Precioso, Professor of the Faculty of Social Sciences; Carmen Bernal, Professor of Classical Languages of the Faculty of Philology, Translation and Communication; and Maria Dolores Guillot, Department of History of Law.