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2nd Transatlantic Symposium on Sustainable Development in Higher Education

October 10: 09:00 - October 11: 17:00

Introducing the UN SDGs in Higher Education Institutions

The scientific, cultural, and diplomatic relations between Europe and its partners in North America are very strong. From a scientific point of view, this long-lasting cooperation has been taking place across a wide range of areas. This also includes the field of sustainability, where North America and Europe are working hand in hand, seeking solutions to the many regional and global problems currently being faced.

Against this background and to cater for a wide discussion on the contribution of higher education institutions from both sides of the Atlantic, towards a more sustainable future, the “Transatlantic Symposium on Sustainable Development” series was brought to life. The first event, under the title “North American and European Perspectives on Sustainability in Higher Education” was held at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, United States, on 2-4 October 2023. This event, the “2nd Transatlantic Symposium on Sustainable Development in Higher Education”, will be held in Hasselt, Belgium under the theme “Introducing the UN SDGs in Higher Education Institutions”.

As the title suggests, the Symposium will provide an opportunity for North American and European sustainability experts to meet, present their work, interact and network.  As a long-lasting documentation of their works, the experiences from the presenters will be documented and promoted in the book “Introducing the UN SDGs in Higher Education Institutions”, to be published by Springer Nature. All submitted papers will be subject to the standard peer-review procedures.

The Symposium will mobilise the scientific communities in North America and in Europe working on matters related to sustainable development in higher education and foster a greater dialogue among them.

Download the flyer!

The Symposium aims to congregate representatives from universities and research organisations on the one hand, but also from companies and enterprises on the other, from Europe and North America, working on matters related to sustainable development in a higher education context. It also aims at providing a platform for the exchange of information, paving the way for technology transfer and networking.

Furthermore, the Symposium intends to provide a fertile basis upon which European and North American organisations may cooperate more closely in this key area.

Delegates come from a cross-sectoral range of areas. They are:
members of university administrations;

  • teaching staff
  • research staff;
  • students;
  • campus facilities and operations staff;
  • project officers and consultants;
  • other people interested in the field.

The Symposium is divided into four tracks dealing with strategic issues for sustainability in higher education:

  • Theme Cluster 1:   Sustainable Campus Operations
  • Theme Cluster 2: Sustainability and the Curriculum: teaching on, about, and for sustainable development
  • Theme Cluster 3:  Sustainability research
  • Theme Cluster 4: Community engagement, cooperation

The Symposium will be held in the city of Hasselt, the capital of Limburg province, Flanders Region, northeastern Belgium, on the campus of PXL University of Applied Sciences and Arts.
The city of Hasselt lies along the Demer River near the Albert Canal, northwest of Liège.
Hasselt was founded in the 7th century, on the Helbeek, a tributary of the Demer river. During the Middle Ages it became one of the free cities of the county of Loon (which had borders approximately the same as the current province of Limburg).

The exact address of the Symposium location is:
PXL University of Applied Sciences and Arts
Elfde Liniestraat 24
3500 Hasselt, Limburg, Belgium

How to get there:
International delegates may find it convenient to use Brussels airport or Brussels railway station as the entry point to Belgium. It takes an average of 1h 13m to travel from Brussels to Hasselt by train, over a distance of around 43 miles (69 km). There are normally 56 trains per day.

Accommodation options:
On the website of the local tourism authority:, you will find some suggested hotels (the titles are in English but the descriptions are in the Dutch language, so please click on your preferred hotels for texts in English). You are also welcome to check Air BnB and/or use Google and find an accommodation that suits you.

Guided tours can be booked here:

Expressions of interest to attend the event, initially consisting of a 200 words abstract outlining the paper and with the full contact details of the author(s) should be sent to the organising team using the form here:


The deadline for submission of abstracts is 30th May 2024. Full papers are due by 30th October 2024.

The details will be discussed with the selected authors.

In other to offset some of the costs with the organisation of the event, a registration fee of Euro 290 (plus taxes) will be charged per delegate. The fee also includes the coffee breaks and lunches during the days of the Symposium, and a PDF of the book to the authors who have contributed. For cancellations up to 2 months before the event, a full refund will be made. For cancellations of up to 30 days, a 50% refund will be made. For cancellations within less than 30 days, no refunds are possible.

The details on how to register will be sent to those authors whose abstracts have been accepted.


  • PXL University of Applied Science and Arts
  • University of Hasselt, Centre for Environmental Sciences
  • Manchester Metropolitan University
  •  Hamburg University of Applied Sciences Research and Transfer Centre “Sustainable Development and Climate Change Management”
  • CIFAL Flanders
  • Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE)
  • European School of Sustainability Science and Research (ESSSR)
  • Inter-University Sustainable Development Research Programme (IUSDRP)
  • UK Consortium of Sustainability Research (UK-CSR)
  • German Consortium of Sustainability Research (DEKONA)
  • (The Netherlands)


HAW Hamburg, Germany, & Manchester Metropolitan University, UK
walter.leal2( at )

PXL University of Applied Sciences and Arts and University of Hasselt, Belgium
dirk.franco( at );
dirk.franco( at )

All questions related to the papers and registrations should be sent to:

HAW Hamburg
Lais.VieraTrevisan( at ) or
FTZ-Events( at )

All logistical questions related to the Symposium should be sent to:

CMK UHasselt
marjan.goossens( at )


October 10: 09:00
October 11: 17:00


Hasselt, Belgium, University of Applied Sciences and Arts

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