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ACU Commonwealth Summer School 2016

January 29, 2016


The Sustainable Development Goals: what role for universities?

Saturday 13 - Saturday 20 August 2016
University of Rwanda, Kigali, Rwanda

The Commonwealth Summer School was first instigated by the ACU in 2011, to provide a forum for high quality students from every corner of the Commonwealth to come together and discuss multidisciplinary issues of global importance.

A key element of the summer school is its desire to mix local/regional students with those who may have never had the opportunity to leave their own regions.

In 2016, it will be held at the University of Rwanda, and will focus on the United Nations' recently agreed Sustainable Development Goals.

Why the Sustainable Development Goals?

"All the Sustainable Development Goals come down to education..." — Malala Yousafzai, speaking at the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Summit in September 2015.

Following the agreement of the SDGs in 2015, universities are uniquely placed to contribute across the full range of SDGs, something the ACU has shown through its 'The World Beyond 2015; Is higher education ready' campaign. The ACU Commonwealth Summer School is a multi-disciplinary event which will bring together exemplary students from across the Commonwealth to discuss higher education's role in SDG implementation.

Delegates will share examples of best practice in areas such as university outreach and community development, as well as participating in lectures, seminars and site visits themed around key sustainable development themes. Participants will spend the week working on a high-level group project, enabling delegates to begin building a personal and institutional contribution to the SDGs.

The summer school will encompass the sub-themes of equality and gender, biodiversity, sustainable cities and conservation and development economics.

The University of Rwanda is taking a lead in linking sustainable development and higher education, and both the university and the government of Rwanda are uniquely well-placed to bring expertise to the summer school.

Who can attend?

The School is open to students from all disciplines who are in their final year of an undergraduate degree (with the intention to go on to postgraduate studies) or undertaking Masters or doctoral level degrees at any university in a Commonwealth member state.

Students who have already attended a previous summer school are not eligible to attend.


Applications should be submitted using the online form. Priority will be given to students from member institutions who have not had the opportunity to travel outside their home region.

Please note the application deadline is 12am (midnight, BST) on Thursday 31 March 2016. Both successful and unsuccessful applicants will be contacted in May 2016.

Costs, bursaries and visa information

Details of summer school costs and bursaries, as well as visa information, are available here