Universities have demonstrated to the world during the COVID-19 crisis why their expertise matters and why international collaboration in higher education is needed to solve the world’s pressing challenges, say the leaders of a conglomeration of international university organisations representing more than 2,000 institutions worldwide. 

So now is the time for the international community to recognise the fundamental importance of higher education to achieving all 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGS), which aim to end poverty, protect the planet, foster gender equality, defend and promote cultures and cultural understanding, and ensure prosperity for all, they say, and for universities to dedicate themselves to helping the world achieve those goals.