The University of Windsor and Wayne State University in Detroit will team up with the United Nations for a cross-border sustainable development initiative.
Guided by the UN’s goals, the unique partnership will address climate change, social inequities, as well as economic and health disparities.
University of Windsor president Robert Gordon said in a release he hoped the collaboration with Wayne State will support United Nations sustainable initiatives.
“Under the leadership of talented and interdisciplinary faculty members, and in collaboration with municipal governments and community partners, we look forward to taking a transnational approach and combining efforts to further the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals,” Gordon said.
Being geographically close to one another, the institutions can collaborate on a range of sustainable development initiatives that will benefit the entire urban region.
Law professor Anneke Smit, the first director of the Windsor Law Center for Cities, said the merger means strengthening initiatives each university already focuses on.
When looking across the two communities in different countries, Smit says we share more equality and inclusion challenges than we realize.
“This will really bring us together and allow us to do what we often don’t do very well, which is to talk to each other and work together across the border,” Smit said. “It’ll allow us to build research opportunities, but also to provide new educational opportunities for students.”
Participants will potentially have the opportunity to complete joint degree programs and use the resources each school offers.
UWindsor and Wayne State are just two of the 179 UN-recognized schools working towards Education for Sustainable Development.
Around 20 members from both institutions have been planning for a year and a half to launch this collaboration.
“Ultimately, we hope we’re improving efforts on sustainability in our own communities,” Smit said. “So, this is not just about research on paper, but really, research that has a community impact.”