The COPERNICUS Alliance is the European Network on Higher Education for Sustainable Development. Its vision is to promote the role of Sustainable Development in European Higher Education to improve education and research for sustainability in partnership with society. The University of Graz is one of the founding members of the network, which was officially established in 2010 when the kick-off-workshop took place in Graz. The University of Graz also hosted the presidency from 2010 to 2012.
The COPERNICUS Alliance promotes transformational learning and change for sustainable development within the higher education sector. Through partnership with society, it aims to re-orient higher education programs and research towards sustainable development as well as promote best practice regarding the sustainable management of university campuses. It seeks to build partnerships with business, government agencies and civil society to promote sustainability at the local and global level.
COPERNICUS Alliance finds its origins in 1993, when the European University Association, acknowledging the critical role of universities in advancing Agenda 21, thus launching COPERNICUS CAMPUS and the CRE COPERNICUS Charta in Geneva. European university rectors, presidents and vice-chancellors were invited to endorse and support the Charta which outlined ten “change pathways” including sustainable development values and ethics, education for university employees and students, and institutional strategic frameworks. The Charta, which resides with COPERNICUS Alliance, has been endorsed by 326 European universities, showcasing their commitment in leading change for sustainable development.