Transforming Universities for Local and Global Challenges


John Hearn, The Worldwide Universities Network and the University of Sydney


The important global challenges for the Worldwide Universities Network, a group in which the University of Sydney is a prominent partner, include (i) Adapting to Climate Change and Food Security; (ii) Understanding Cultures; (iii) Globalisation of Higher Education and Research; and (iv) Public Health in Non Communicable Disease. These programmes require an awareness of the effects of demographic change and mobility, along with teambuilding for national and international needs. Teams can include universities, governments, business, international agencies, alumni and NGOs. In implementing a “think global, act local” approach, we aim to implement reforms and construct the capacity to (i) advance strategic research results in health, science, the arts and social sciences; and (ii) explore projects, in concert with the development agencies in less developed countries, where self sufficiency and sustainable local research leadership are essential for success. The engagement of international universities in such global challenges can accelerate the transfer of knowledge for economic, social, cultural and environmental development.




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