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The Aga Khan University and the Sustainable Development Goals: Building on International Partnerships to Promote Excellence

University Partnerships for Sustainable Development

ISBN: 978-1-78973-644-1, eISBN: 978-1-78973-643-4

Publication date: 19 June 2020


In the present era of the sustainable development goals (United Nations, 2015), what is the trajectory of education and social development in Kenya and other sub-Saharan African countries? What forces are impinging on decision-making and how are these forces in turn supporting systemic development that relies on national policy-making and implementation frameworks? What is the role and purpose of higher education institutions, particularly to underwrite quality and relevance? Finally, what are the intended outcomes, and what benefits accrue to the citizenry?

These complex and contested questions require conceptual, theoretical, and methodological tools to address. This chapter outlines the initiative and mandate of the Aga Khan University (AKU) that has led on quality assurance and enhancement linked to faculty educational development to promote excellence in teaching in higher education institutions in East Africa. AKU is presented as a qualitative case study, building on a descriptive analysis of published work, to elucidate issues and opportunities that must be addressed by higher education institutions with regard to the SDGs from the lens of quality.

Assessing the initiatives of AKU raises critical questions of the role of education, particularly higher education institutions, to support development that in turn address and advance the diverse needs of global populations. Arguably, this is the transformative function of the SDGs.



Khamis, T. and Khamis, A. (2020), "The Aga Khan University and the Sustainable Development Goals: Building on International Partnerships to Promote Excellence", Sengupta, E., Blessinger, P. and Yamin, T.S. (Ed.) University Partnerships for Sustainable Development (Innovations in Higher Education Teaching and Learning, Vol. 20), Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 121-132.



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