On July 11, 2017, the U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres held a ceremony for the Global Education Institute in Pohang, Korea. The project was initiated by the previous U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon — the institute’s namesake. Ban Ki-moon’s hope is for the Institute to help in the effort of meeting the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The building of the Global Education Institute is financed and supported by U.N. Academic Impact (UNAI) in Korea and Handong Global University. UNAI is a global initiative that was started by Ban Ki-moon in 2010 to align higher education with the U.N. Their goal is to utilize higher education to help realize SDGs through research and shared social responsibility. Currently, more than 1,000 institutions in over 120 countries are members of this initiative.
The Ban Ki-moon Global Education Institute will be completed in October 2018. The Institute will be built three-stories high and on a 3,400 square-meter lot. The building will house both the Handong GRACE School for rounded education and the Ban Ki-moon Sustainable Development International Research Center.
The Institute’s primary focus is advancing the UNAI’s ten basic principles. Their principles include providing all people with educational opportunities as well as promoting global citizenship. Thus, the goal of the Institute is not only to provide more people with education, but to also create leaders that will further global education efforts.
Mainly the Institute’s goal is to concentrate on three fundamental efforts: to carry out SDG research, support developing countries, and nurture youth leaders. Towards the third of these efforts, the Global Education Institute plans to seek exchanges with UNAI ASPIRE. ASPIRE stands for Action by Students to Promote Innovation and Reform through Education and is the student branch of UNAI.
The initiative aims to connect “student organizations and individuals to global opportunities through the U.N. and education.” Members of ASPIRE actively support UNAI principles as well as attend and participate in UNAI events and conferences.
From promoting equality in education to fostering young leaders, the Global Education Institute is promising. If nothing else, hopefully the Institute will inspire more potential solutions to the global education crisis.
– Haley Hurtt