Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development

The Global Goals can only be met if we work together. International investments and support is needed to ensure innovative technological development, fair trade and market access, especially for developing countries. To build a better world, we need to be supportive, empathetic, inventive, passionate, and above all, cooperative.

How SFU is contributing

SFU partnerships

SFU researcher Anne Salomon is the project lead for the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions (PICS) opportunity project, "Designing solutions to the hidden impacts of climate change on Canada’s undersea forests."

Achieving the United Nations' (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) requires cross-sectoral partnerships and interdisciplinary knowledge. SFU strives to convene collaborations and dialogue across these dimensions, both locally and internationally. We engage our global, national and local community to create mutuality, justice and equity in our partnerships with government, private sector, non-governmental and community-based organizations, civil society and academia.

SFU’s memberships in global networks that mobilize on the SDGs allow us to collaborate globally to advance the 17 goals. Memberships include: Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN); University Social Responsibility Network (USRN); Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU); Inter-American Organization for Higher Education (IOHE); and the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU) network. 

SFU is also a partner of the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions (PICS), hosted and led by the University of Victoria in collaboration with the University of British Columbia, SFU and the University of Northern British Columbia. PICS was established in 2008 with an endowment from the B.C. government, partners with governments, the private sector, researchers, non-governmental and community-based organizations, and civil society in order to undertake research on, monitor and assess the potential impacts of climate change, and evaluate, develop and promote viable mitigation and adaptation options to better inform climate change options and actions for British Columbia, Canada and the world.

SFU regularly collaborates with non-governmental and community-based organizations to amplify local, regional, and global impact. These partnerships enable students, researchers and faculty to tackle the SDGs in ways that authentically respond to community needs. Some current initiatives include:  

SFU International and SFU Sustainability are working on a project to broaden and deepen our understanding of current activities taking place at SFU that contribute to the SDGs locally, nationally and internationally, and to mobilize the SFU community around strengthening and deepening work towards the achievement of the SDGs. This project will benefit the SFU community at large by informing SFU's Global Engagement Plan. 

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On September 15, 2022, SFU hosted the Times Higher Education (THE) Impact Forum: Sustainable Cities—an event that aimed to explore critical questions around advancing SDG 11 (sustainable cities and communities) and connect with others who are working to build just, resilient cities and communities. The event was open to students, alumni, the local community and the general public  

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Renewable Cities is a global program of SFU's Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue in Vancouver, Canada. Its mission is to work with policymakers and practitioners to accelerate the transition to renewable, restorative, resilient cities through meaningful engagement, critical research, capacity building and policy innovation. Using research-based dialogue, collaboration and thought leadership, Renewable Cities works towards urban energy solutions with cities, governments, the private sector, utilities, researchers and civil society.

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SFU International is the university's hub of international relationships, knowledge and resources to mobilize the global reach of SFU’s teaching, research and community engagement. SFU International facilitates global connections through partnerships and collaboration with global networks and higher education institutions around the world. 

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SFU International mobilizes SFU’s research and expertise to support global development and sustainability initiatives with the global south—in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

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SFU International Services for Students provides support services for SFU students who identify as refugees or newcomers. SFU also partners with World University Services of Canada to directly sponsor refugee students via the Student Refugee Program. 

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SFU is partnering with the University of Central Asia (part of the Aga Khan Development Network) on the Central Asia Faculty Development Program. UCA’s mission is to foster the socioeconomic development of Central Asia, particularly its mountain societies, while helping the people of the region preserve and draw on their rich cultural heritages. Upgrading faculty members to PhD level is a key aspect of UCA’s development plan to offer high quality education, increase research capacity through global linkages, and meet requirements for accreditation internationally and in Central Asia. The program allows UCA faculty members to complete Masters or PhD programs at SFU, spending the first one to two years in Canada, and returning home to conduct research to complete their degree.

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In partnership with Mitacs, SFU International has launched a program to support new and developing international research collaborations that advance knowledge critical to achieving the SDGs.  The program awards research projects with awards to support the mobility of graduate and postdoctoral students between collaborating teams (inbound and outbound). 

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Professor of Professional Practice at the School of Resources and Environmental Management Zafar Adeel is the director of SFU's Pacific Water Research Centre.

The Pacific Water Research Centre mobilizes cross-disciplinary exploration at the interface of water science, social values and public policy, the centre provides a forum for advancing evidence-based research and concrete societal change at the local, national and global scale.

The Centre for Sustainable Development is a research unit of SFU that uses the resources and talents of the university to deepen understanding and create solutions to advance sustainable development locally and globally. 


  • 4115 research publications related to SDG 17, 2017-2021 (source: SciVal)

  • At least 3 researchers involved in research relating to SDG 17 (source: SFU's Research Expertise Engine)

Teaching and learning

Refugee Livelihood Lab project manager Yara Younis (left) and manger Nada El Masry (right) awarding a Migrant System Change Leadership certificate.

The Migrant Systems Change Leadership (MSCL) program is the first certificate of its kind offered by the Refugee Livelihood Lab. The program is designed for people who have lived a refugee or immigrant experience. Through a collaborative process taking place over eight months in an online setting, students will gain an understanding of foundational concepts related to equity, racial justice, Indigenous rights and decolonization. 

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SFU's Semester in Dialogue is a one-semester, full-time program designed to inspire students with a sense of civic responsibility and encourage their passion for improving society. Each semester the program offers an original, interdisciplinary experience that bridges the classroom with the community and creates space for students to reflect on what they are doing and why it matters.

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Global opportunities for students

A group of SFU graduate and undergraduate students travelled to South Africa in 2019 for an intensive, experiential learning course taught by SFU Faculty of Health Sciences Professor Angela Kaida.

Through partnerships and relationships with universities, companies and community organizations across the world, SFU provides opportunities for students to engage with the world. 

  • International Co-op

  • SFU's Scholars for a Sustainable World supported knowledge-sharing to further the UN's SDGs in five countries: Bangladesh, Ecuador, Iran, Nepal and South Africa. The program supported inbound and outbound students from 2017 to 2020. 

  • SFU students travel to South Africa for field school on HIV and youth:  A group of SFU graduate and undergraduate students had the opportunity to travel to South Africa in summer 2019 for an intensive, experiential learning course taught by Health Sciences Professor Angela Kaida. The field school—which took place in Durban over 11 days—was offered in partnership with the Sub-Saharan African Network for TB/HIV Research Excellence (SANTHE).



  • SFU offers 2 courses relating to SDG 17, representing 298 students, offered between the 2018/19 and 2020/21 academic years

  • On average, SFU offers its students over 300 annual global co-op placements in more than 25 countries 



SFU is among more than a dozen Canadian universities to sign a charter furthering their commitment to addressing global climate change. 

Under the charter, the universities pledge to adopt responsible investment guidelines that follow recognized standards, such as the UN-supported Principles of Responsible Investment.

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SFU is a member of the International Sustainable Campus Network, a global network of nearly 100 higher education institutions in 30 countries. Network institutions work collaboratively to increase sustainability best practices in their campus operations, research and teaching. 

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