The Strengthening Urban Engagement of Universities in Asia and Africa (SUEUAA) project is funded by the British Academy under the Cities and Infrastructure programme of its Global Challenges Research Fund.  The project, led by the University of Glasgow, includes six international partners from Iran, Iraq, the Philippines, South Africa, Tanzania and Zimbabwe.

The project addresses a core problem in emerging economies of strengthening the urban engagement role of universities, and ways they contribute to developing sustainable cities in the context of the major social, cultural, environmental and economic challenges facing the global south. It uses a set of well-proven benchmarking tools as its principal method, and seeks to strengthen the capacity of universities to contribute to city resilience towards natural and human-made disasters. Examples of urban engagement include supporting the development of physical infrastructure, ecological sustainability, and social inclusion (including of migrants). It calls upon contributions from science and engineering, the arts, environmental sciences, social sciences and business studies. It assesses the extent to which universities in 6 countries under study can respond to demands of society, and how through dialogue with city stakeholders this can be enhanced and impact on policy; it uses a collaborative team from the UK and emerging economies.


SUEUAA Project Blog

The Fourth International Conference on Learning Cities, was jointly organized by the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning (UiL) and the Municipality of Medellín; during the 2-day Conference from 1-3 October 2019, there were around 650 conference participants, including 50 mayors, as well as government representatives and experts in the field of education.

In a series of SUEUAA working papers, the team focus on overarching themes (environment, policy, migration, gender, and the economy), and show the similarities and differences across the different study cities in terms of the capacity of the University to respond to these city-wide issues. 

The fifth in this series provides both a general overview of the socio-economic context of each of the partner countries and cities and  explores the role that universities can play and what they can contribute in supporting and enhancing socio-economic development in the pursuit of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

One of its recent seminars of the Jean Monnet Network, ‘The EU’s Role in the Implementation of the SDGs in Asia Pacific’, was delivered by Dr Lavinia Hirsu, SUEUAA co-I, on the topic of Gender Equality. The related Policy Brief produced by Lavinia, and two colleagues who were also part of our GCRF project, SUEUAA,  Lamiah Hashemi, University of Kurdistan and Zenaida Quezada-Reyes, Philippines Normal University is attached.

The UKFIET: Education and Development Forum recently organised a conference (September 17-19, 2019) in Oxford, UK, around the theme of Inclusive Education Systems: Future, Fallacies and Finance. The conference included a series of presentations organised around six major sub-themes: future directions in inclusive education systems, problematizing inclusive systems, education financing for global equity and inclusion, education technology and data science for inclusive systems, education system actors, strengthening inclusive practice and system responses to conflict and crises.

The way we choose to frame current global challenges matters. Kenneth Burke called the language we use as “equipment for living” because how we speak about our acts and practices has an impact on how we understand our actions and how we decide to prioritise our next action plans. The conference Rhetoric as Equipment for Living organised by the Rhetoric Society of Europe (September 11-13, 2019, Ghent, Belgium) looked at the importance of rhetoric in various current contexts: social, cultural, political and anthropocenic.