General Themes, Research, & Publications

The future of university engagement

University World News was the media partner at the Talloires Network conference in Stellenbosch, outside Cape Town, from 2-4 December, 2014. It is the third international conference – for the first time in the global South and for the first time with a strong student presence and input – with a network of 332 engaged universities from across the world.

The title was “Live Engagement, Transform Lives”, and there were three overarching themes: perspectives from the global South, youth employment, and economic development.

Read the University World News Special Edition which includes stories as well as new articles based on conference sessions, speeches and interviews. (source: Rebecca Warden and Karen MacGregor, via email from University World News – Global Edition – 21 December 2014)

My World 2015

Right now, world leaders are going back and forth trying to figure out which issues to add on the development agenda.  There’s only one thing missing – YOUR VOICE!  Tell the United Nations what’s most important to you by joining the MY WORLD Campaign.  Whether you’re passionate about climate change or making sure women have access to maternal care, this is the time to raise your voice.

MY World is a global survey for citizens led by the United Nations and partners to share your views with global leaders.  There are 16 issues to choose from that cover the existing Millenium Development Goals, plus issues of sustainability, security, governance, and transparency.  From now until 2015, we want as many people in as many countries as possible to be involved with My World:  citizens of all ages, genders and backgrounds.  Your responses will be shared with the Secretary General and global leaders as they prepare the next development agenda in the run up to 2015.  Go to and join citizens from across the globe in voting on how to support our planet and combat poverty!

UN global Partnership for Youth

Building on the MyWorld2015 survey’s five key thematic outcomes – Education, Employment and Entrepreneurship, Health, Good Governance, and Peace and Stability, the Global Partnership for Youth and crowdsourcing initiative will work to identify youth priorities, and advocate for these to be reflected in the post-2015 development agenda.

The crowdsourcing has been endorsed by the President of the General Assembly, who calls the Global Partnership for Youth “a groundbreaking initiative.”  “The Global Partnership and crowdsourcing will be vehicles for youth and youth organisations to discuss what they think should be reflected as priorities in the post-2015 development agenda. It presents an opportunity for young people to help move the post-2015 development debate from consultation to consolidation, and my hope is that the output will feed into the intergovernmental discussions ahead of us,” said the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, Ahmad Alhendawi.
Both the partnership and crowdsourcing are initiatives by the Office of the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth in partnership with ITU, UNFPA, UNMC, the Major Group on Children and Youth, with the support of the Inter-Agency Network on Youth Development’s Sub-Working Group on Post-2015, and the International Coordination Meeting of Youth Organisations. Since the call for partners was made approximately three weeks ago, over 1,100 organisations from across the globe have registered to join the partnership.

The partnership and crowdsourcing will link to online and offline events, including the High-Level Event on The role of women, the young and civil society to the post-2015 Development Agenda convened by the President of the General Assembly in March, and the World Youth Conference in Sri Lanka in May. Key outcomes of the crowdsourcing will be discussed and consolidated at the ECOSOC Youth Forum in June.

The crowdsourcing is available at More information can be found here.

Connect Your Classroom K-12 Classroom to the World:

Reach the World (RTW), a global education and mentoring nonprofit, invites educators to teach beyond the textbooks, view their curriculums through a global lens, and take students on the road! RTW’s programs connect college study-abroad travelers to K-12 classrooms. Select a traveler whose major, background and personal interests enhance your curriculum and inspire your students. Then, travel together online! Your class will receive weekly, personalized content and have multiple opportunities to videoconference. Through the connection with RTW’s travelers, your students will expand their worldview, skills and goals.

Scholarship pricing is available for partner teachers in Title I schools. Get Involved: here.

Schools in Northern Virginia Create a Pipeline for College

George Mason University, Northern Virginia Community College, and middle and high schools work together to help students reach and stay in college.

Early Identification Program at George Mason University:  Early Identification Program (EIP) empowers students to achieve their goal of attaining higher education, and succeeding therein.  The aim is to educate the whole student.  Students are provided with year-round academic enrichment, personal and social development, civic engagement, and leadership training opportunities.  EIP ensures that students are equipped with the knowledge, skills, and intellect to become lifelong learners, leaders, and responsible global citizens.  The Student’s Success is Mason’s Success.  For more information:

World University News: Stay up-to-date on what is happening around the globe by reading the “World University News“.

EFA Global Monitoring Report: Youth Skills and Putting Education to Work: Full report on EFA Global Monitoring Report: Youth Skills and Putting Education to Work is available at:

Highlights from the UN NGO/DPI Annual Conference – Outcome Report on Education: The 65th Annual United Nations DPI/NGO Conference on Education resulted in “Our Action Agenda – 2015 and Beyond Outcome Document”.  Related to education:

  • We further call upon governments to guarantee universal, equal and inclusive access to quality education and life-long learning opportunities for all citizens…”
  • National curricula must be transformed in order to incorporate the tenets of educating for sustainable development, human rights education and comprehensive sexuality education, while also taking into account and promoting the inherent value of non-formal and vocational education for students in and out of school.

Read the full report:

Interested in travelling to Qatar (Thanksgiving) or Saudi Arabia (Winter Break)?  The National Council of U.S.-Arab Relations is offering two opportunities to learn more about the region for a small group of former Model Arab League participants with most expenses paid.  Applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • have previously participated in the Model Arab League program as a student delegate;
  • be U.S. citizens, holding a valid U.S. Passport;
  • enrolled in an accredited college or university for the duration of the program.

Learn more: Qatar:

Saudi Arabia:

Conference on Higher Ed by Small Island Developing States Held in August 2014:  UN Academic Impact and Handong Global University (Republic of Korea) organized an educators’ forum on capacity building in higher education in Small Island Developing States and Territories (SIDS), at the Third International Conference on SIDS, in Apia, Samoa. Learn more: