UCL Global


UCL one of 48 global universities at second U7+ Presidential Summit

3 December 2020

UCL Vice-Provost (International & Advancement) Dame Hazel Genn joined nearly 100 university leaders from around the world to discuss intergenerational justice

row of various world flags on poles

Over two days from 22-24 November 2020, nearly 100 university presidents and leaders from 48 universities in 17 countries came together virtually at the U7+ Alliance of World Universities Presidential Summit.

The U7+ Summit is the annual meeting of the U7+ Alliance, the first coalition of university presidents from Europe, Asia, North America, South America, Africa and Australia dedicated to collectively addressing global challenges in coordination with government leaders in G7 countries and beyond.

Dame Hazel Genn, UCL Vice-Provost (International & Advancement) represented UCL in this year’s discussions, which centred around the theme of intergenerational justice. University leaders discussed how they can work in coordination to create solutions to global challenges in a way that takes the interests and rights of future generations into account.

A number of UCL’s key global partners were in attendance, including National University of Singapore (Singapore), Osaka University (Japan), Sapienza University of Rome (Italy), Sciences Po (France), University of Cape Town (South Africa) and University of Toronto (Canada).

University leaders unanimously voted to work together and with government leaders worldwide to create new opportunities for mutual understanding and equitable resource sharing across generations. This builds on previous U7+ Alliance commitments to tackle climate change, promote ethical uses of artificial intelligence and digital technology and address other global issues.

The summit was hosted by Northwestern University, in collaboration with three other US-based institutions: Columbia University, Georgetown University and the University of California-Berkeley.

UCL to co-host next U7+ Summit

Next year, the UK will host the presidency of the G7. UCL, the London School of Economics, the University of Cambridge and the University of Edinburgh will join Imperial College London in co-hosting the third U7+ Presidential Summit.

Dame Hazel Genn said: “The current COVID-19 pandemic is a clear example of how the decisions made by governments and policymakers globally can, and still are in some instances, disproportionately impacting the futures and hopes of young people around the world. 2021 will be another difficult year for UCL and our global partners, but one insight that is apparent to us all is the need to ensure the voices of young people are central to addressing global challenges.

“UCL looks forward collaborating with Imperial College, LSE, the University of Cambridge and the University of Edinburgh to host the next U7+ Presidential Summit in 2021. We hope to build upon the brilliant discussions, enthusiasm and engagement exhibited this year from Alliance members.”

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