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U7+ Student Initiatives

The U7+ Alliance convenes students from around the world to work on the global challenges confronting future generations. Our student initiatives offer students an exciting opportunity to contribute to the work of the U7+ in collaboration with leaders and scholars across the Alliance.

2023 U7+ Worldwide Student Forum 

The third edition of the U7+ Worldwide Student Forum, Peace and Security – What commitments can students make to support universities as engines of innovation in peace and security? was hosted by École Polytechnique, and consisted of six events held virtually.  

During these events, students from diverse academic backgrounds engaged with faculty experts from the U7+ Working Group on Peace and Security, including Oluyemisi Bamgbose (University of Ibadan), Jean-Christophe Martin (Université Côte d’Azur) and Costanza Nardocci (Università degli Studi di Milano). Students will work together to develop a set of commitments that they can make to further the commitments made by U7+ university presidents in the U7+ Tokyo Statement: Universities as Engines of Innovation for Peace and Security.

2023 U7+ Student Challenge 

Student finalists from eight U7+ Alliance universities participated in the second U7+ Student Challenge. For the challenge, each participating university organized a team of up to four students to research and develop an innovative proposal to address the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) through technology.  

The winning teams from Ashesi University, École Polytechnique, Northwestern University and Université d’Ottawa showcased innovative ideas for addressing the scarcity of resources in the public health sector, motivating community members to increase use of sustainable transportation, developing a more sustainable supply chain for electric vehicle batteries and raising awareness of air pollution in cities.  

U7+ Student Projects Address Climate Change at COP27  

At the 27th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27) that took place in 2022 in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, the U7+ Alliance held an official side event, Universities as key solutions providers: Leveraging our local and global networks for innovation.  

During the panel, convened by University of Toronto, a group of university leaders discussed how universities are collaborating amongst themselves, as well as with governments, local communities, and industries to create transformative climate solutions.  

The event also featured student projects from across the U7+ that are addressing climate change. Some of the projects that U7+ students are working on include developing new tree planting methods to offset carbon emissions and promote biodiversity, broadening accessibility to public transportation, minimizing the degradation of drinking water systems, raising awareness about mercury pollution, creating thermal electric generators that produce energy from heat that would otherwise be lost, and designing capsule materials for lithium sulfur batteries—a next generation of higher energy density, more sustainable batteries.  

2021 U7+ Intergenerational Roundtable Series 

Students from U7+ Alliance universities worked with senior universityleadership to develop the U7+ Intergenerational Roundtable Series, convened by Northwestern University. This three-part series brought together students and scientists from across the globe for vigorous discussion and debate on the global challenges confronting future generations, from climate change and sustainable innovation to gender inequality and women's rights.  

  • Part 1: Climate Change, Inequities and Intergenerational Justice 
    Co-hosted by Georgetown University and the University of Cape Town 
  • Part 2: Social Sciences to Tackle the Global Gender Gap  
    Co-hosted by Sciences Po (France) and Université Mohammed VI Polytechnique (Morocco) 
  • Part 3: Science and Technology Innovation for a Sustainable Future 
    Co-hosted by École Polytechnique (France) and Osaka University (Japan) 

2021 U7+ Worldwide Student Forum 

The second annual U7+ Worldwide Student Forum, was hosted by University College London with support from Northwestern University and the U7+ Student Leaders Board. The Forum brought student voices from 24 U7+ universities in 12 countries to creating solutions that take the interests and rights of future generations into account.  

During the Forum, convened under the topic Climate Change: Intergenerational Conflict or Intergenerational Alliance? student delegates participated in academic roundtables that were part of the All4Climate Pre-COP26 Programme, in masterclasses led by UCL faculty, and in peer-to-peer sessions led by the U7+ Student Leaders Board. Learn more about the 2021 Worldwide Student Forum. 

2020 U7+ Worldwide Student Forum 

In Summer 2020, 85 students from 22 universities in 12 countries convened virtually to address one big question: How should universities best prepare students for life after graduation in light of the global COVID-19 pandemic and global and local events since its onset?The students participated in the inaugural U7+ Worldwide Student Forum, which Northwestern University hosted as a precursor for the November 2020 U7+ Alliance of World Universities Summit. 

The participating students prepared video messages for their institutions’ leaders, with recommendations on U7+ Alliance Commitments, Principles and Actions.  U7+ university leaders had an opportunity to hear students’ video messages and engage in discussions about their recommendations during the 2020 U7+ Summit.  Learn more about the 2020 Worldwide Student Forum.