31 December 2018

#SDGsinAcademia: SDG Hub for Goal 10

As part of the ongoing campaign on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) carried out by the United Nations, the United Nations Academic Impact (UNAI) series #SDGSinAcademia profiles the new SDG Hubs for each one of the Goals in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

31 December 2018 - This week our #SDGsinAcademia series features Western Sydney University (Australia), a member institution of United Nations Academic Impact (UNAI), that has been chosen as the SDG Hub for Goal 10: Reduce inequality within and among countries.

About the Hub:

Western Sydney University (WSU) is one of Australia’s largest universities with a geographic footprint across one of the nation’s most important economic and culturally diverse metropolitan regions. Its mission is to develop students that are global citizens, innovators and future thinkers. The institution believes that it is important to lead the way in supporting socially just and ecologically responsible societal transformation.

In 2017 the university embarked on an institutional wide curriculum transformation initiative which seeks to equip students for success in a disrupted future of work and society and enable the university to contribute to transforming that future. Its research institutes contribute word-leading research in the areas of climate change, conservation, community economies, housing affordability and youth and wellbeing.

What is this Hub doing about Goal 10? 

The university is a signatory to the Australia/Pacific Sustainable Development Solutions Network to foster the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development through higher education. In that framework the university actively promotes inclusiveness through, for instance, its Institute for Culture and Society and dedicated research on disability issues such as access to the Disability Support Pension by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders living in regional areas.

The Institute has also examined the way in which mobile media platforms and apps are entangled in specific understandings and approaches to racism. There is also a particular program entitled ‘Diversity and Globalization’ aimed to analyse the challenges posed by social diversity in everyday life. This research systematically explores the possibilities of transformations in governance, learning and human conduct.

The university offers a Graduate Diploma in Australian Migration Law to improve qualifications needed to help immigrants and refugees. With full accreditation from the Australian Department of Home Affairs, the course supplements online learning with work experience and one face-to-face weekend workshop to provide the skills and knowledge needed for a successful career in Migration Law.

The university also offers a Master’s degree in Inclusive Education, which provides the expertise required to support people with additional needs in a range of settings, including early childhood, primary, secondary and post-school. Along those lines, WSU also hosts the Office of Equity and Diversity, which works in partnership with staff, students and the wider community to promote inclusive practices across the university.

One of the highlights of its program towards inclusion is the Indigenous Education Policy, that brings guidance for the development and management of Indigenous education providing Aboriginal people with access to higher education. It is also intended to foster international Indigenous awareness and collaborative projects. To that end, the Badanami Centre for Indigenous Education was established.

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The Sustainable Development Goals Report 2018 reviews progress in the third year of implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. It has an overview that presents highlights of progress and remaining gaps for all 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), based on the latest available data, and examines some of the interconnections across Goals and targets.

This is the overview provided in the Report about Goal 10:

Efforts have been made in some countries to reduce income inequality, increase zero-tariff access for exports from LDCs and developing countries, and provide additional assistance to LDCs and small island developing States (SIDS). However, progress will need to accelerate to reduce growing disparities within and among countries.

  • Between 2010 and 2016, in 60 out of 94 countries with data, the incomes of the poorest 40 per cent of the population grew faster than those of the entire population.

  • In 2016, over 64.4 per cent of products exported by LDCs to world markets and 64.1 per cent of those from SIDS faced zero tariffs, an increase of 20 per cent since 2010. Developing countries overall had duty-free market access for about 50 per cent of all products exported in 2016.

  • In 2016, receipts by developing countries from member countries of the Development Assistance Committee of the OECD, multilateral agencies and other key providers totaled $315 billion; of this amount, $158 billion was ODA. In 2016, total ODA to LDCs and SIDS from all donors totaled $43.1 billion and $6.2 billion, respectively.

  • Based on provisional data, among the $613 billion in total remittances recorded in 2017, $466 billion went to low- and middle-income countries. While the global average cost of sending money has gradually declined in recent years, it was estimated at 7.2 per cent in 2017, more than double the target transaction cost of 3 per cent.

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The following resources provide general information about the SDGs:

  • This is a comprehensive research guide from the UN Library in Geneva listing resources about each one of the Goals, including books and articles (some of which are fully available on line free of charge), UN documents such as resolutions and reports, and additional resources.

  • The SDG Fund has created this online library featuring over 1,000 online publications. The publications are categorized by the Goals they represent, geographical regions and by authors, to facilitate searchability. Each publication also has a short summary attached to it which helps with keyword searches.

  • This selection of tools is an initiative supported by UNDP, UN-HABITAT and the Global Taskforce of Local and Regional Governments, which offers concept notes, papers, case studies, compilation of best practices and guides providing contextual and practical information about the SDGs.

  • This guide, entitled “Getting Started with the Sustainable Development Goals”, is intended for stakeholders and designed by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) to serve as an initial basis for implementing the SDGs.

  • SDSN also developed this guide, entitled “Getting Started with the SDGs in Universities”, to help universities, institutions of higher education and the academic sector in Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific to accelerate their contributions to the SDGs by providing practical guidance and examples to inspire further action.

You can learn more about the SDG Hubs at the UNAI website.  

Is your institution a member of UNAI and conducting activities and initiatives around Goal 10? Contact us at academicimpact@un.org to tell us about your work and let us connect your university with the SDG Hub! Working together we can make the 2030 Agenda a reality!