The U7+ alliance is the first international coalition of universities. U7+'s mission is to define concrete actions to collectively address global societal challenges in coordination with G7 members.
U7+, the first international alliance of universities
Created in June 2019, the U7+ Alliance currently brings together more than 50 universities from all over the world who are committed to structure and strengthen their role as global actors across the multilateral agenda. For two years now, the members of the Alliance have been meeting every year for the U7+ summit, which aims to establish a programme of joint actions that will contribute positively to the G7 agenda's issues .
Together, U7+ university presidents take stock of civic and social responsibilities and engage in working groups to take action on behalf of their institutions to address the world's most pressing local, regional and global challenges.
Universities also have their say in international affairs" said Frédérique Vidal, Minister of Higher Education and Research, on June 5, for the launch of the alliance.
The U7+ summits, key annual meetings
The first U7+ summit, held under the high patronage of the French President Emmanuel Macron, resulted in the vote of major principles intended to connect the working groups' reflection to specific areas:
- The training of responsible and active citizens: member universities plan to internationalize the student experience and the list of their partners while valuing engagement with local communities.
- The environment: U7+ members commit to providing all students with courses on climate, biodiversity and sustainability by 2025, and to improving their energy efficiency and reducing their greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.
- The fight against inequality and polarization in our society: the partner universities have undertaken a vast project to open up higher education to students from marginalized backgrounds and, more generally, to all local communities. The members of U7+ also strive to boost entrepreneurship, social innovation and incubation.
- Promoting interdisciplinary research: U7+ universities encourage the development of bridges between different fields of learning in order to participate in the 17 goals of the 2030 Agenda established by the UN member states.
During the 2020 Summit, representatives of U7+ Alliance members renewed these commitments and chose to focus their thinking around the issues of intergenerational justice that had emerged from the first U7+ Global Student Forum a few months earlier. The students' recommendations were a real kick-off and will serve as basis for the coming year U7+ Alliance's agenda.
As educators of millions of young people around the world, universities have a responsibility to foster intergenerational justice, and to put the interests and rights of young people and future generations at the center of their efforts to address the global challenges they will inherit," said Morton Schapiro, president of Northwestern University, which hosted the summit in partnership with Columbia University, Georgetown University and the University of California, Berkeley.
The theme of intergenerational justice arose from the need to address the disproportionate impact of the health crisis on the hopes and futures of young people around the world. For the members of U7+, it is about responding to injustice in all its forms.
A Joint Declaration on the importance of intergenerational justice was adopted by the members of the U7+ alliance.
At the same time, a working group of presidents from more than a dozen universities around the world published a document that sets out 16 recommendations for the ethical use of artificial intelligence, a subject to which AMU is particularly committed, along with sustainable development.
For more information on the U7+ Alliance, consult the FAQ here.