“Transforming our world may not be a destination, it is a journey. We cannot change the past, but we can learn from the past. To transforming our world, utilizing the transformative power of education, learning to transform oneself and society for a better future ”, said Prof. Mario T. Tabucanon, PhD in the Public Lecture held by ProSPER.Net-UPI and School of Postgraduate studies (SPs) UPI on Wednesday morning, November 13, 2019 in the UPI SPs auditorium. Prof. Mario is a senior Visiting Professor at the United Nations University’s Institute of Advanced Studies (UNU-IAS), Yokohama, Japan.
The public lecture opened by UPI Vice Rector for Research, Partnerships and Business, Prof. Dr. Didi Sukyadi, M.A., was also attended by Vice Director of UPI SPs in Academic and Student Affairs, Prof. Dr. Anna Permanasari, M.Sc., Vice Director of UPI SPs in Finance and Resources, Prof. Dr. Disman, M.S., Chairperson of UPI’s ProSPER.Net, Prof. Dr. Mohammad Ali, M.A., UPI professors as well as Head of Curriculum Development Study Program of SPs, Dr. Rusman, M.Pd. Previously, Prof. Mario Tabucanon was warmly received by the UPI Rector and his staff at the rector’s office, isola building, UPI Bandung.This activity got enthusiasm from hundreds of participants who packed the auditorium room on the 5th and 6th floors of the UPI Graduate School building. The participants consisted of lecturers, and postgraduate also undergraduate students. That enthusiasm was not only apparent from the large numbers, but also from the questions facilitated by Prof. Bachrudin Musthafa, M.A. as the moderator.
According to Prof. Mario, in utilizing the transformative power of education to transform the world, education must be transformed. In 2020, a new education framework will be launched, namely “ESD for 2030” (Education for Sustainable Development): towards achieving SDGs. ESD for 2030 aims to build a more just and sustainable world through strengthening ESD and contributing to the achievement of 17 SDGs.
In connection with the theme of this public lecture, “Transforming Higher Education for Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals”, the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio + 20) has commitments related to sustainable practices in higher education institutions, as follows: (1) teach sustainable development concepts (ensuring that they form a part of the core curriculum across all diciplines); (2) encourage research on sustainable development issues; (3) Green the campus (reducing environmental pollution; adopting sustainable development practices, adopting programs to minimize waste, recycling and reuse, encourage a more sustainable lifestyle); (4) supports sustainability efforts in the communities.
Prof. Mario said that UNU-IAS launched the ESD program funded by the Japanese Ministry of the Environment in 2003 in response to a UN resolution on DESD (decade of education for sustainable development). The program aims to bridge the gap between learning and sustainable development through research and actions that advance knowledge across geographical, knowledge and sectoral boundaries. One of the flagship initiatives initiated was ProSPER.Net (Promotion of Sustainability in Postgraduate Education and Research Network).
ProSPER.Net (https://prospernet.ias.unu.edu) is an alliance of leading universities and higher education institutions in the Asia-Pacific region that are committed to integrating sustainable development into postgraduate courses and curricula. This alliance was launched in 2008 and currently has 47 members (as of October 2019). There are members from Indonesia: UPI, ITB, UGM, UI, and Andalas University. ProSPER.Net has a mission to transform higher education including capacity development and integration of sustainability in the curricula.