Meeting the Sustainable Development Goals through Higher Education

Meeting the Sustainable Development Goals through Higher Education

By Nnamdi Madichie

It is interesting that even before the millennium development goals (MDGs) deadline had elapsed, I had already thought of a fresh approach in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

In a paper entitled “Middle East – Sub-Saharan Africa (MESSA) Rising! Emerging Migratory Pipeline in Higher Education” which I presented at the Round Table Discussion Paper. World Investment Forum, UNCTAD Geneva, Switzerland, 13-16 October 2014, I highlighted the opportunities and challenges in the sustainability of business education relationships between the Middle East (ME) and Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA).

Drawing upon observations from sectors including retail, mobile telecoms, and sports, with a view to understanding developments in higher education in the MESSA (acronym), I argued for the need for education across all levels as contingent upon sustainable development – and notably so in the context of forging sustainable development through the prism of higher education in the MESSA and the rest of the developing world.

Obviously traditional student destination landscape has been shifting as students from sub-Saharan Africa have set sights on newer destinations in the Middle East for two main reasons.

First, is the “ease of doing business” which includes visa restrictions and related matters, which have become more of a thorny issues for the “old world” such as Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom.

Second, relates to the increasing quality of provision in the “new world” with comparable educational outcomes. You name it, most Western Universities have outposts in the Middle East – Carnegie Mellon, Georgetown, Heriot Watt, INSEAD, Northwestern, Paris Sorbonne, Strathclyde amongst others.

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