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Conference on higher education and the climate crisis

Senate House, London, Thursday, 19 October 2023



Universities are heavily implicated in the climate crisis as historical drivers of industrialisation, consumerism and colonialism. Yet they are also central to the transformation of societies, through their unique role in professional development, knowledge production and public debate. While there has been increasing attention to the active role universities can play in recent years, and many institutions have made commitments to achieving carbon neutrality, there is still a significant knowledge gap. This one-day conference provides a space for debate, exchange of ideas and sharing of new research on diverse aspects of the higher education-climate crisis link.                                                                                          

The conference is being convened by Climate-U (Transforming Universities for a Changing Climate), a Global Challenges Research Fund project led by University College London, in partnership with University of Passo Fundo (Brazil), Kenyatta University (Kenya) and University of the South Pacific (Fiji).

The conference is an in-person event, to be held at the University of London Senate House, in Bloomsbury, London, and is free of charge. Attendance is open to all, and proposals are sought from researchers, practitioners, students and activists working in this field.


The conference welcomes presentations on the following themes, amongst others:

· Epistemic justice, decolonisation and ecologies of knowledge


· The effects of climate change on higher education institutions

· Campus sustainability and regeneration

· Policy-making and the politics of higher education and the climate crisis

· Student-led activism and/or climate action

· Curriculum and pedagogy

· Community engagement

· Teacher education and university-school links

Papers submitted can present the results of empirical research (qualitative or quantitative), theoretical/conceptual work, or exploratory research still in process.


The following formats are available:

· Individual paper

· Symposium

· Workshop

· Poster presentation

· Artistic engagement

Artistic engagements may take a number of forms including poetry, music and short films.

Submission Requirements:

Individual paper

Abstract of 250 words


Overview of 200 words followed by title and 100 word summary of each of the constituent papers. (Normally symposia will include three or four presentations)



Overview of 250 words


Poster presentation

Abstract of 150 words


Artistic engagement

Either the output itself or a short description

All submissions should also include the authors’/presenters’ names, contact details and affiliations.

Submissions should be sent to: by Friday 9th June.


General enquiries can be directed to Climate-U Principal Investigator Prof Tristan McCowan ( or Research Fellow Dr Charlotte Nussey (

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