The theme of the national conference hosted by the University of Bergen 7-8 February 2018 was; “How can research and education at Norwegian universities and colleges contribute to the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals?”
Over 300 participants listened to Prim Minister Erna Solberg emphasize the importance of the SDG’s and the universities’ role in achieving them.
The Minister of Research and Higher Education, Iselin Nybø, as well as the Minister of International Development, Nikolai Astrup, also made presentations focusing on Norway’s commitment to the SDGs. UNESCO Chair, Victoria W. Thoresen, was also one of the plenary speakers, reflecting on how education and research in higher education is a “service to humanity”.
Representatives from all the higher education institutions in Norway attended the conference and discussions covered topics such as «The role of knowledge in implementing the SDGs», «The dimensions of development and how their relevance to the SDG’s», «Creating SDG-reformed universities», and «The science/policy interface».
There was a concensus that universities play a significant role and that there is much to be done to make research and education more relevant to sustainable development. At the same time particpants pointed at numerous political, structural and attitudinal barriers that must be dealt with. All agreed that there is no time to lose.