Accelerating higher education's contribution to the SDGs by cultivating social responsibility, developing emotional intelligence (EQ) and shaping agents of change
The project #edu4sdgs aims at accelerating higher education’s contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by cultivating social responsibility, developing emotional intelligence (EQ) and shaping agents of change. It is addressed to students, academic and administrative staff, HEIs’ (Higher Education Institutions) decision-makers and lifelong learners from outside the university who want to upgrade their skills for SDGs and EQ.
Funded by the European Commission (Erasmus+ Program) and coordinated by Lodz University of Technology (Poland), it will be carried out from October 2023 to September 2026 in partnership with the organizations Welfare and Development Association ABD (Spain), Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona UAB (Spain), Accreditation Council for Entrepreneurial and Engaged Universities ACEEU (Germany), Team Coaching (Poland), Rigas Tehniska Universitate (Latvia).
The scope of the project reflects the need to accelerate higher education contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and work out an innovative approach to respond to this need. According to the needs analysis conducted by the partners, the 2030 Agenda is at great risk. Since 2019 SDGs progress has been halted. The project focuses on the area where HEIs’ (Higher Education Institutions) contribution is particularly significant: the development of “SDG implementers” through Education for the SDGs (ESDGs). This means providing learners with skills, mindsets and agency to address the SDGs.
ESDGs must inspire to create a positive impact and needs to be joined with education for EQ (Emotional Quotient, otherwise known as emotional intelligence).
The project is addressed to students, academic and administrative staff, HEIs’ decision-makers and lifelong learners from outside the university who want to upgrade their skills for SDGs and develop EQ to expand their professional experience and meet the demands of the labor market.
The main objective of the project is to accelerate higher education’s contribution to the SDGs by cultivating social responsibility, developing emotional intelligence and shaping agents of change.
- Enhancing the ability of participating organisations to collaborate internationally in order to fulfill the project’s goals and guarantee excellent outcomes with a high degree of transferability.
- Enhancing the standards of university planning, implementation and monitoring of sustainable development policies.
- Crafting a university approach to teach empathy as the pillar of effective SDGs implementation.
- Developing the recognition, understanding and management of one’s own emotions to actively contribute to the implementation of the SDGs.
- Crafting a university approach to develop the SDGs micro-credential ecosystem.
- Upskilling and reskilling target groups’ knowledge, abilities, and competencies in the area of the SDGs.
- Sharing information, resources, and best practices for a successful social and institutional contribution to the SDGs.
- Analysis of EU policies and current practices related to micro-credentials and proposal of a new competency framework for the micro-credentials/digital badges in the area of SDGs and emotional intelligence (EQ).
- Development of the SDGs University Knowledge Hub: an online learning space with educational pathways and resources to learn about different aspects of SDGs and EQ in higher education and to complete some parts of the chosen upskilling/reskilling pathway leading to micro-credential.
- Development of a Board game: it will support the strengthening and development of emotional intelligence (EQ) towards the SDGs.
- Training and Webinars: workshop “Working with emotions” in Poland and training “HEIs-NGOs cooperation for the SDGs” in Spain, so that partners could implement the knowledge acquired and train the future agents of change in their institutions. These trainers in turn will implement the board game and will train the next groups of users. Also, expert webinars for internal and external stakeholders will be held.
- Summer school “EQ = social responsibility” in Riga for HEIs’ students, academic and administrative staff and representatives of the non-university partners. The event will serve as a testing stage of the board game, the learning pathway related to EQ and the mechanism of micro-credential.
- Development of a practical roadmap for HEI on how to successfully implement new SDG-related educational components
- Dissemination activities, including a social media video #edu4sdgs to reach out to stakeholders and a Final conference of the project in Poland
The project will have a significant impact on target groups and other stakeholders:
- STUDENTS: The project gives students an inspiration to take action for SDGs and the opportunity to develop their EQ, allowing them to build a better future and improve their professional and personal lives.
- ACADEMIC STAFF: They will increase their expertise related to working with students on SDGs, improving the quality and relevance of education, as well as progressing on SDGs, which is defined as a long-term impact of the project.
- HIGHER EDUCATION INSTITUTIONS (HEIs): The activities will help HE Institutions contribute to SDGs, thus improving their educational approach and increasing the efficiency of decision-making processes.
- LABOUR MARKET: According to the Future of Jobs Survey 2020, EQ is listed among the Top 15 skills for 2025. By educating learners in this area, the labour market gains employees with competencies tailored to its needs.
- LOCAL LEVEL: By integrating EQ and SDGs, the project will contribute to shaping active citizens who will take activities for the SDGs and the local community.
- NATIONAL LEVEL: The project addresses the need for HEIs to mainstream micro-credentials. Additionally, in countries where there is no national policy on micro-credentials, the project can be useful while preparing such a national policy in the future.
- EUROPEAN LEVEL: disseminating the project’s outcomes to both national and foreign higher education institutions (HEIs) will enhance their role in fostering knowledge-based societies.
- INTERNATIONAL LEVEL: the project tackles global issues and should generate interest among stakeholders outside the EU, potentially leading to the exchange of experiences.
The project aims at accelerating higher education’s contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by cultivating social responsibility, developing emotional intelligence (EQ) and shaping agents of change.