SENSE: Sustainable and Equitable North-South Collaboration in Education

14 November 2023

Educational project

SENSE: Sustainable and Equitable North-South Collaboration in Education

The aim of SENSE is to establish Sustainable and Equitable North-South Collaboration in Education across three faculties: UMCU/Faculty of Medicine, University College Utrecht and the Faculty of Geosciences. The societal and institutional momentum is used to strengthen collaborations between the participating faculties and their academic partners in various countries in the Global South. 


One of the missions of UU’s education is to train students to become critical global citizens. This is why in various courses and programmes across UU faculties, students are encouraged to explore the complexity and interconnectedness of global development using the framework of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In addition, concepts of positionality and reflexivity are used to have students reflect on how they relate to global inclusive development, how the Global North relates to the Global South, and what this means for equity in North-South collaborations. Following the increased attention to these topics in public and academic debates, we consider this emphasis in education important and timely.

The SENSE project matches well with the UU overall strategy which aims to contribute to the SDGs, and embraces equity as a core value for academic practice and education. SENSE will support the UU to realize this ambition and fulfill its responsibility to its students and partners in the Global South. We will co-create an approach for equitable and sustainable collaboration, and apply this approach into practice within educational activities.

Goal, set-up and intended results

This project consists of 3 separate work packages (WPs), which are described below:

This work package will co-create and establish the SENSE approach for sustainable and equitable North-South collaboration in education: a shared definition and a strategy to implement the SENSE approach in UU educational collaborations. Co-creation will be undertaken in close collaboration with the three participating UU faculties and their partners in the Global South. It will then be implemented and evaluated in WP2 and 3.
This work package will put the SENSE approach into practice in the context of UU international internship programmes from the three participating faculties.
This work package will put the SENSE approach into practice to adapt UU courses to facilitate Open Education initiatives. This way, students and staff from UU and from partner universities will meet in a global classroom to work together on themes relevant to all.

These work packages will result in recommendations on how to make use of the SENSE approach in other educational activities, at all UU faculties.


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