Educational development

We will enhance our commitment to educational development in emerging economies, working with partners who share our mission and values.

GCU joined the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), the largest voluntary corporate responsibility initiative in the world.

The UNGC brings together a range of like-minded organisations under the UN umbrella to ensure that business, as a primary driver of globalisation, can help guide markets, commerce, technology and finance to advance in ways that work for the overall benefit of economies and societies worldwide.

Academic partners undertake research on the evolving issue of corporate citizenship, strengthening the business case for responsible management practices. They also have a key role to play in ensuring that the business leaders of tomorrow are equipped with the knowledge and tools they will need to meet pressing global challenges.

The decision to join the UNGC builds upon the work currently underway to embed the Principles of Responsible Management Education (PRME) across the University. 

United Nations PRME champion

Developed in 2007, PRME is a United Nations (UN) Global Compact-backed initiative to promote and inspire responsible management education and research in academic institutions around the world. The global reach of the initiative now includes over 600 leading business schools and academic institutions from over 80 countries.

GCU became a signatory to PRME in January 2012. The University’s participation, led by Glasgow School for Business and Society, demonstrates its commitment to ensure that the PRME principles are central to teaching, learning, and research across all disciplines.

GCU is a founding member of the UK & Ireland PRME Chapter, which was established in 2014, and now has 56 members. The Chapter’s remit is to work with higher education institutions and related bodies to integrate the PRME in to the higher education sector in order to produce global citizens and responsible leaders of the future.

Working with thought-leaders

GCU’s defining commitment to deliver for the Common Good has engaged global thought leaders and influencers who share our vision and sense of purpose.

Our Chancellor Professor Muhammad Yunus is one of the world’s most decorated citizens for his pioneering work to alleviate global poverty. His microfinance lending system, which was created in Bangladesh, is in use around the world, providing credit to millions of people and promoting social entrepreneurialism.

One of only seven people to have won the Nobel Peace Prize, the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal, Professor Yunus has worked with GCU since 2008, when he gave the inaugural Magnusson Lecture and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Letters.

Our collaboration inspired in 2010 the foundation of the Grameen Caledonian College of Nursing in Dhaka. In the same year, GCU established the Yunus Centre for Social Business and Health. Professor Yunus was appointed Chancellor in 2012.

In 2011, Nobel Laureate Kofi Annan, former Secretary-General of the United Nations, was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Laws for his work to address international issues such as the HIV/AIDS epidemic, poverty, conflict and human rights. It was the first time Dr Annan had accepted an honorary award from a Scottish university, and only the second time he has accepted one from a UK university, the other being King’s College, London.

Chancellor of the African Leadership University, leading politician and activist, and widow of Nelson Mandela, Graca Machel is an ambassador for the African Leadership College of Higher Education (ALCHE), established by GCU in partnership with the African Leadership Academy. It is the first university initiative of its kind in Africa and offers unique education opportunities to nurture the future leaders of the continent.

Ms Machel, served as minister of education and culture in Mozambique for more than 10 years, and is passionate about youth education. No stranger to GCU, Ms Machel visited in 2001 to unveil a portrait of Nelson Mandela, an honorary graduate. The painting hangs in our Govan Mbeki building.

Fred Swaniker is chairman and founder of the African Leadership Group, which includes the African Leadership University, and chairman and founder of the African Leadership Academy, which aims to develop 6000 transformative leaders for Africa over a 50-year period. His work as an educational entrepreneur has been praised by President Barack Obama and he has been recognised as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum. Mr Swaniker is considered as one of world’s top emerging social entrepreneurs.

GCU Honorary Graduate Dr Kerry Kennedy is President of the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights, which seeks to realise her late father’s dream of a peaceful and just world by creating lasting change worldwide through litigation, advocacy, education and training, and sustainable investment. Professor Yunus was honoured with the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights 2013 Ripple of Hope Award, and Dr Kennedy has described our Chancellor’s efforts to transform lives as “the single most important development in the third world in the last 100 years”.