Conference will focus on international higher education that is sustainable and inclusive


TORONTO, Jan. 19, 2021 — Scholars, educators and policymakers from around the world will join a global conference hosted by York University, to reimagine international learning opportunities impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

As part of York’s Sustainable on the Go initiative to support study-abroad opportunities that promote sustainability, the conference on Sustainable and Inclusive Internationalization is expected to attract more than 600 participants from 65 countries.

The three-day international conference, from January 20 to 22, will be co-hosted by York International and the UNESCO Chair in Reorienting Education Towards Sustainability at York University, in collaboration with the International Association of Universities, the Canadian Commission for UNESCO, and Okayama University, Japan.

“It is crucial that today’s leaders and those in the future understand global contexts and working in transdisciplinary and intercultural teams towards the common goal of a sustainable future,” said York University President and Vice-Chancellor Rhonda Lenton. “York University is very pleased to host this important conversation among colleagues and partners, as we all look forward to a better and safer 2021 and beyond.”

“Higher education has long been a force for cross-cultural exchange, and advancing global cooperation for education and research, but there are barriers to creating equitable access for all to these opportunities.,” says Vinitha Gengatharan, executive director, York International. “The global pandemic has led to an unprecedented pause in international student and faculty travel that warrants universities to examine their policies and practices.”

“Issues such as global geopolitical tensions, economic strains, climate change concerns and systemic racism and exclusion continue to limit the participants in these initiatives,” says Charles Hopkins, UNESCO Chair at York University. “Further, the growing concern around the ecological footprint of higher education mobility and the exclusiveness of opportunities has already caused fundamental discussions on the future of international student mobility.”

The upcoming conference will be an open forum that will allow participants to tackle these concerns and find workable solutions under the themes of sustainability, inclusivity and innovation.

For more details on the conference click here.

York University is a modern, multi-campus, urban university located in Toronto, Ontario. Backed by a diverse group of students, faculty, staff, alumni and partners, we bring a uniquely global perspective to help solve societal challenges, drive positive change and prepare our students for success. York's fully bilingual Glendon Campus is home to Southern Ontario's Centre of Excellence for French Language and Bilingual Postsecondary Education. York’s campuses in Costa Rica and India offer students exceptional transnational learning opportunities and innovative programs. Together, we can make things right for our communities, our planet, and our future. 

Media Contact:

Gloria Suhasini, York University Media Relations, 647.463.4354,