Academics measure Gov’s progress against UN Sustainable Development Goals

UN Global Event

Arden University’s School of Leadership and Management has played a dominant role in a new report, reviewing the UK Government’s progress against the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.  

Set up in 2015 by the United Nations General Assembly, the Sustainable Development Goals were designed to be a "shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future". 

Published on the 27th of September 2022, this new report assesses the Businesses, charities, academics, and professional associations across the UK who have taken part in Measuring Up 2.0. The report’s findings suggest the UK is only performing well on 17% of the targets relevant to the domestic delivery of the Goals, with no change registered in 65 of the targets, and regression recorded in 18 areas.

Arden University’s School of Leadership and Management is among the first UK private universities to embed the UN’s SDGs in the core curriculum. Arden University has a suit of Executive MBA programmes with Data Analytics and Finance pathways that benchmarks the student learning against UNSDGs to give students a greater understanding of the global goals. Also, these programmes are mapped with UN PRME’s (Principles for Responsible Management Education), six principles which aim to equip today's business students with the understanding and ability to deliver change tomorrow.

Dr. Alison Watson, Head of the School of Leadership and Management, found in reviewing SDG16 that public perceptions of safety have degraded, with 63% of people reporting feeling unsafe walking in quiet spaces after dark. Dr. Watson also called for the UK government to ensure sufficient funding for refuge and provision for survivors of domestic abuse, increase training for local and housing authorities, and prioritise the needs of survivors from marginalised groups.

Dr. Syed Ali Tarek, Principal Lecturer & Deputy Head of School of Leadership and Management, in drafting the SDG 9 recommended that The UK Government should set and implement industry-specific CO2 emission reduction targets, helping to ensure any progress is in line with the UK’s net zero target. Furthermore, pertaining to innovation (Target 9.5), the UK has performed relatively poorly at the overall amount of research and development (R&D) that it undertakes. The UK currently spends only 1.7% of GDP on R&D, which is below the OECD average of 2.4% and the EU average of 2.0%.

Arden University’s School of Leadership and Management has been particularly vocal in raising awareness of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) because our students seek education to be prepared for their future, a future that will require them to learn to live more sustainably to thrive. Academics at the school invite UK Businesses and other learned societies to step up and ensure ESD is seriously considered at the policy level. 

Click here to read the report to see more