UFV joins approximately 1,500 institutions in 147 countries who are working with the United Nations to promote global priorities, including peace, human rights, and sustainable development.
As a UNAI member, UFV is required to carry out at least one activity in support of UNAI and its ten principles during a calendar year.
The United Nations Academic Impact (UNAI) is an initiative that aligns institutions of higher education with the United Nations in supporting and contributing to the realization of United Nations goals and mandates, including the promotion and protection of human rights, access to education, sustainability and conflict resolution.
Since 2010, UNAI has created a vibrant and diverse network of students, academics, scientists, researchers, think tanks, institutions of higher education, continuing education and educational associations.
The work of these institutions is vital to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals as they serve as incubators of new ideas and solutions to many global challenges. United Nations Academic Impact provides the integral link to these stakeholders to ensure that the international community harnesses the energy and innovation of young people and the research community in service to humanity.
UFV Provost James Mandigo was happy to hear that UFV’s application to UNAI membership was approved.
“UFV has a long history of actively engaging in teaching, scholarly, and service activities that are aligned with the UNAI’s principles of addressing poverty reduction through education, facilitating access to education for everyone, encouraging global citizenship, sustainability, and human rights, and committing to intercultural dialogue to support advancing peace and conflict resolution,” he said. “This membership in the UNAI will provide members of the UFV community with opportunities to actively network with more than 1,500 educational institutions countries to collectively address the importance of education to achieve United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals.”
United Nations Academic is informed by a commitment to support and advance 10 basic principles:
- Addressing Poverty — A commitment to addressing issues of poverty through education;
- Capacity Building — A commitment to building capacity in higher education systems across the world;
- Education for All — A commitment to educational opportunity for all people regardless of gender, race, religion or ethnicity;
- Global Citizenship — A commitment to encouraging global citizenship through education;
- Access to Higher Education — A commitment to the opportunity for every interested individual to acquire the skills and knowledge necessary for the pursuit of higher education;
- Human Rights — A commitment to human rights, among them freedom of inquiry, opinion and speech;
- Intercultural Dialogue -— A commitment to promoting intercultural dialogue and understanding, and the “unlearning” of intolerance through education;
- Peace and Conflict Resolution — A commitment to advancing peace and conflict resolution through education;
- Sustainability — A commitment to promoting sustainability through education; and
- United Nations Charter — A commitment to the principles inherent in the United Nations Charter.
In its application to UNAI, UFV outlined the following activities that are relevant to UNAI and its principles:
- Recently approved integrated strategic plan entitled: Iyaqawtxw — (House of Transformation) which provides a road map for UFV to fulfil its mission of Engaging Learners, Transforming Lives, and Building Community. This plan is firmly rooted in UFV’s commitment to Indigenization — including the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, to Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI), and to social justice and impact (see https://www.ufv.ca/strategic-planning/)
- Recently announced new scholarship to support international students who have been displaced due to conflict (see: https://blogs.ufv.ca/blog/2022/03/ufv-establishes-emergency-internationa…)
- Establishment of a University wide Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Action Plan (see: https://www.ufv.ca/president/presidents-task-force-on-equity-diversity-a…)
- Several research centres that carry out a number of initiatives related to social justice, human rights, and health: Centre for Education and Research on Aging; Centre for Global Development; Centre for Public Safety and Criminal Justice Research; Community Health and Social Innovation Hub; Peace and Reconciliation Centre; and South Asian Studies Institute
- Several academic programs that are directly related to UNAI and its principles include (but not limited to): Environmental Studies; Global Development Studies; Indigenous Studies; Latin American Studies; Migration and Citizenship; Peace and Conflict Studies
- Establishment of a Sustainability Office that coordinates applied and academic activities that collaborate to improve sustainability at UFV and into the broader community
- Active contributor towards the World University Services of Canada (WUSC)
- In 2021, UFV partnered with community stakeholders to establish the Abbotsford Disaster Relief Fund in response to catastrophic flood in the region, in order to support front-line agencies providing essential services to affected families and businesses https://abbotsfordcf.org/grants/disaster/
- Through CityStudio, UFV students work alongside local city officials to help generate evidence based solutions to local issues facing communities.
The above activities relate to the following UNAI principles:
- Capacity-building in higher education system
- Commitment to the United Nations Charter
- Education opportunity for all
- Fighting poverty through educatio
- Global citizenshi
- Higher education opportunity for every interested individual
- Human rights
- Inter-cultural dialogue and understanding — unlearning intolerance
- Peace and conflict resolution
The results of this submission may be viewed at: