Education as key to dialogue: The Goethe-Institute is committed to this idea and has established a globally unique project with the Network University.
A central goal of the INU is to promote mutual understanding. This is achieved through structured intercultural exchange, which is intended to raise awareness of political and social tensions. This educational space has potential for decisive contributions to address interstate conflicts with the instrument of civil society. Common visions for the future are developed and achieved through project-based work in our global community. Understanding and comprehension are practiced, democratic values and norms are conveyed, stereotypes are broken down and a solid foundation for future partnerships is created.
Young people in particular benefit from enhanced language skills, communicative skills and intercultural competencies in their personal future. The core values of INU therefore include: education for sustainable development, inter/transcultural understanding, conflict prevention and peace research, language competence and communicative skills.
Another fundamental idea of the Network University is "Education for Sustainable Development". This term refers to all efforts that ensure by the means of education that people are able to make responsible decisions for their own and other generations’ future. ESD is both an obligation and a method for the close and permanent network of cross-border initiatives. Key concepts such as solidarity, responsibility, respect and conflict prevention play a decisive role here.
The 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals
The key to sustainable development, regardless of language and nation, lies in education and its importance to society: education for sustainable development empowers responsible decision-making in terms of ecological integrity, economic viability, and an equal opportunity. In its core values, INU shows a high degree of consistency with the 17 Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations and the fields of action of UNESCO's World Programme of Action on Education for Sustainable Development, for example in the following areas:
- Anchoring the ESD concept in political education
- Integrating sustainability aspects into universities and educational concepts
- Strengthening the competencies of teachers and students through scientific exchange and innovative teaching formats
- Promotion at the local level and expansion of ESD programs worldwide
Relevant links17 Goals for Sustainable Development (United Nations)
Education for Sustainable Development (UNESCO)
Nationaler Aktionsplan BNE (BMBF)
Dr. Anne Schönhagen
Prof. Dr. Margarita Dorofejewa
Nationale Taras-Schewtschenko- Universität, Kyjiw
Statement of Solidarity
"We, the universities of the International Network University, witness the war against Ukraine with horror and deep sympathy. We strongly reject the use of military force and violence to resolve political issues and condemn the invasion of Ukraine in the strongest possible terms.
While economic sanctions against Russia are essential, we believe that exchanges of civil society are more important than ever before. The fundamental idea of INU is that education shall foster sustainable development, whereby this is both an obligation and a method for permanently and close cooperation of cross-border initiatives. Key concepts hereby are solidarity, responsibility, respect, and conflict prevention.
We view our INU network as an opportunity to facilitate the important contributions of civil society exchange, to which we would like to remain committed even and especially in times of war and conflict."