Covenant Wins 2021 International Green Gown Award for Next Generation Learning Skills
Covenant University's status as one of the world's leading institutions in Goal 13 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) - Climate Action - has been validated by her emergence as winner of the 2021 International Green Gown Award for the Next Generation Learning Skills Small Institution Category.
Established in 2004, the International Green Gowns Award recognizes the exceptional sustainability initiatives being undertaken by the world's universities and colleges. It sets the bar and puts every learning institution at the heart of delivering the UN Global Goals.
Covenant's entry titled 'Indigenous Capacity for Climate Action (IC4CA): Developing Green Skills for Tackling Climate Change' beat entries from 12 other institutions to the Award in the Next-generation learning skills category, which featured small institutions based on the number of full-time students, part-time students, and post-graduate students.
A total of 51 finalists had emerged from 23 countries to contest the awards, and entries were submitted for five categories. They were Benefitting Society (13 entries), Creating Impact (8 entries), Next-Generation Learning Skills (13 entries), Student Engagement (9 entries), and Sustainability Institution of the Year (8 entries).
The judges at the awards reportedly welcomed Covenant's ambitious project with its challenging aims, objectives, and reach. "The wide range of initiatives allied to connections with schools and the Regional Centre of Excellence (RCE) made the project a worthy winner in the small institution category. The judges considered that the approach was highly replicable and scalable," said the Chair, RCE Ogun, Dr Patience Tunji-Olayeni.
With the introduction of the impact rankings by Times Higher Education, winning the International Green Gown Award positions Covenant University as a leader in Climate Change Action (Goal 13), thereby increasing her impact rankings.
On the significance of the Award, Dr Tunji-Olayeni stated that "the Award provides the visibility needed to attract partners and funders thereby scaling up our ideas to make more impacts locally and internationally. Covenant University needs to consolidate efforts on Climate Change Action with other goals where the University is doing well to maintain the record".
A paper presented by Duncan Ross of the Times Higher Education (THE) at the awards highlighted the needed incentives in the ranking of Higher Education. He said that Higher Education assessors must build in SDG rankings and ratings appropriately in their rankings to accelerate the evaluation of progress on the SDGs. Debra Rowe of the US Partnership for Education for Sustainable Development made another interesting presentation, 'How universities can bring scholarly activities into alignment with the SDGs'.
According to Dr Tunji-Olayeni, the presentations were lessons for Covenant in her quest to become one of the world's top ten universities.
The International Green Gown Awards Winners were announced as part of the Higher Education Sustainability Initiative (HESI) event at the United Nations High-Level Political Forum. It marked the second time Covenant University was mentioned on the floor of the United Nations.
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Students display their works at a Climate Action event at Covenant University.