International universities are committed to promoting justice between the generations

New Delhi: The roughly two dozen university rectors who took part in the virtual summit from November 22nd to 24th agreed on increased future cooperation on issues of global relevance in order to take greater account of the interests and rights of young people and future generations. Against the background that effective measures against climate change, for example, were repeatedly postponed, the participants at the summit saw great dangers for democratic structures. Young people get the feeling that their concerns are not being heard. In the future, the member universities of the alliance will campaign for generation-appropriate measures on their respective campuses, through global information campaigns and their commitment at the political level.

Their efforts are anchored in a final agreement that was unanimously approved. Specifically, the members of the U7 + alliance promise to intensify their efforts to train students at their universities to become responsible and active citizens. Furthermore, they want to accelerate research on the topics of climate change and protection, promote equality and inclusion in society as well as interdisciplinary research. Education and cooperation with a wide variety of stakeholders should contribute to solving complex global issues.

In addition to the joint agreement on justice between the generations, the university rectors decided on additional measures. Further universities in the countries of the alliance are to be made aware of the agreement and called upon to join it. The participants also agreed to work more closely with the G7. This cooperation is to be coordinated by a specially set up group. In addition, contact is to be established with other multilateral organizations such as the G20 and UNESCO in order to offer the academic expertise of the universities and the unique multilateral perspective on global issues that universities can offer as decision-making aids.

For the University of Mannheim, Prof. Dr. Thomas Puhl, Rector of the University, attended the summit. “Especially today, young people and future generations are confronted with the effects of climate change, mountains of debt and economic inequality. Globally and united, decisions are now to be made to tackle these problems, ”says Puhl. “As universities, the members of the U7 + Alliance are naturally future-oriented institutions that look far ahead, based on science and independent of legislative periods and quarterly figures. They are ready to make their contribution to sustainable development and to promote justice between the generations – through their own exemplary measures in research, teaching and operations,

About the U7 + Alliance
The U7 + Alliance is the first international coalition of university presidents with the aim of structuring and promoting the role of universities as global players. Alliance members meet annually to set a common agenda and identify key areas for coordinated action. Together, the presidents of the U7 + universities take stock of the unique civic and social responsibility of their universities and commit themselves on behalf of their institutions to concrete measures to address the world’s most pressing challenges at local, regional and global level.

The next meeting of the university rectors of the U7 + Alliance will take place in Great Britain in 2021.

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