The 21st century is a century of grand challenges to the planet and to humanity. Climate emergency, environmental degradation, economic disruption and social tension, conflicts and political instability at local, regional and global levels, all challenge the existing socio-economic systems, their model of development and the carrying capacity of the planet earth. Sustainability holds the key of human future. On September 25 2015, the United Nations General Assembly adopted unanimously the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development with 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and their 169 targets. The ambitious agenda is a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity.

The UN Sustainable Solutions Network (SDSN) has been mobilizing different sectors including universities and civil society to promote practical solutions for sustainable development, including the implementation of the SDGs and the Paris Climate Agreement since 2012. The Hong Kong Chapter of SDSN (SDSN Hong Kong), co-hosted by CUHK and The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust, was launched in 2018. Being the co-host of SDSN Hong Kong, CUHK is committed to mobilizing expertise and resources to address the SDGs in Hong Kong.

Using the 17 SDGs as a framework, the Office of University General Education launched the SDG Study Scheme in 2020–21 to prepare students for the challenges of tomorrow. The SDG Study Scheme enables students who aspire to be future leaders of sustainable development to integrate their academic learning with life experiences and community engagement. Students are encouraged to take ownership of their learning and adopt SDGs as a unifying theme to extend their learning from knowledge based courses to experiential and service learning, either credit bearing or non-credit bearing. Students will be certified as SDG Explorers after they have finished the study scheme. Those who perform well in the scheme and have outstanding performance in the SDG-SE (Social Engagement) or SDG-VA (Voluntary Activities) will be granted the honor of being SDG Achievers.

The SDG Study Scheme is comprised of three components, combining knowledge based learning with experiential learning:

  1. A short online course by SDG Academy providing an overview of the SDGs and their significance;
  2. Three knowledge based SDG-GE (General Education) courses;
  3. One SDG-SE (Social Engagement) course or at least 80 hours of co-curricular volunteer activity (SDG-VA)

 Please visit the designated website to learn more about the Study Scheme.