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Sustainable Development

In the last 20 years, universities all around the world have integrated their core missions of education and research to shape the university of the 21st century, an anchor institution able to cope with the present huge challenges which have both local and global dimensions. Furthermore, as publicly funded institutions, they are motivated and driven by a renewed sense of social responsibility and accountability.

A Renewed EU Agenda for Higher Education emphasises how important it is for universities to engage in the development of their cities and regions, whether by contributing to development strategies, collaborating with businesses, public administrations, and the voluntary sector, or supporting public dialogue on social issues. It also argues that “Outreach beyond the academic community in local languages should be incentivised and rewarded, including as part of career development”.  

The new HORIZON Europe highlights the relevance of cooperation between science and society in the vision of Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI). Under the section Science with and for Society, research combining scientific excellence with awareness and social responsibility is stimulated and supported.

The University of L’Aquila anticipated this new vision of universities by actively cooperating in the physical, economic, and social reconstruction of the city after the destroying earthquake of 2009.

In 2014, our university produced the first University Social Report, thus integrating the Financial Report with a qualitative analysis of the activities and projects undertaken, describing their impact on both the scientific community and the national and local community. This document brings together the numerous initiatives for the creation of value, a value that is socially shared and cannot be quantified in financial terms: from incoming, in-itinere tutoring and outgoing counselling services to the exchanges of students, lecturers and technical-administrative staff to and from European and Partner Countries, from collaborations with other universities, research bodies and associations to technology transfer and the promotion of scientific and cultural events. This document was not only an opportunity to communicate, but also to engage all local stakeholders and consolidate the shared planning and co-creation process.

Today, the University of L’Aquila is actively contributing to the achievement of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the UN Agenda 2030. This calls everyone - institutions and citizens of the world - to the social duty to do everything possible to ensure that no one is left behind in the development process.

Following this vision, our university has joined:

- the Forum Inequalities Diversity (Forum Disuguaglianze Diversità), an initiative now supported by some 30 Italian universities, with the aim of placing social justice at the heart of the missions of Italian universities.

- the Network of Universities for Sustainable Development (Rete delle Università per lo Sviluppo sostenibile - RUS) and its working groups on climate change, education, energy, waste management and mobility. In this context, it appointed the figure of the Mobility Manager, the figure of the Energy Manager and activated from 2021/2022 the MAPROSS master’s degree in Systemic Design for Sustainability.

- the Network of Universities of Peace (Rete delle Università della Pace – RUniPace), promoted by CRUI (Conference of Italian Universities’ Rectors), whose actions are inspired by the fundamental principles of the Italian Constitution, the United Nations Charter, the founding Treaties of the European Union, the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe and the Council of Europe.

Planning and communication activities evolved at the same pace, highlighting how objectives, actions and results contribute to the achievement of the SDGs now considered an inescapable duty worldwide.

The Annual Financial Report was thus accompanied by the Sustainability Report 2014-2019 and the Gender Report 2018 and 2021. They are now joined by the Gender Equality Plan 2021 and the detailed report dedicated to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

The principles, structure and indicators of the Sustainability Report are those proposed by the GBS-RUS Working Group, after adaptation to our specificities.

We invite you to learn more about the actions and achievements of our university in response to the economic, social, and environmental crisis, and to participate in our initiatives to share objectives and create synergies between university expertise and the demands for innovation and competitiveness. The aim is to respond to the pressing requirements coming from the local, national, and global territory, while respecting future generations.


The UnivAQ Choir took part in the Song Contest promoted by the Network of Universities for Sustainable Development, editing and recording the song remotely due to the health emergency. You can listen to the song on the following page:


Read more:

Network of Universities for Sustainable Development 

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the U.N. 2030