Duchess of Sussex to Attend Engagement with Association of Commonwealth Universities

Duchess of Sussex
The Duchess of Sussex during her to visit the Hubb Community Kitchen, London


City, University of London

Thursday 31st January, 2019

The Duchess of Sussex will attend an engagement with the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU) on Thursday 31st January to meet with students and academics from across the ACU’s network. This will be Her Royal Highness’s first official visit with the ACU in her new role as Patron of the international organisation which is dedicated to building a better world through higher education.

During the visit, which will be held at City, University of London – one of the ACU’s 500 university members – The Duchess will meet students from the Commonwealth now studying in the UK, for whom access to university has transformed their lives. By bringing universities, academics and students together from around the world, the ACU helps to advance knowledge, promote understanding, broaden minds and improve lives.

As a university graduate, Her Royal Highness is a strong advocate of accessible education for all, and as part of The Duke and Duchess’s visit to Fiji last year, Her Royal Highness announced new Gender Grants for ACU member universities in the Pacific to fund new learning initiatives aimed at empowering female university staff and promoting gender equality.

This year, 2019, also marks the 60th anniversary of the Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan and the launch of the Queen Elizabeth Commonwealth Scholarships, which build Commonwealth connections amongst students through education. Her Royal Highness will meet with past and current scholars to hear the impact of this prestigious scholarship scheme. The Duchess also last month met with university leaders, academics and international scholarship students as they discussed the role of higher education in addressing issues such as human trafficking, modern slavery, gender equality, and climate change. During the visit, The Duchess will hear more about how the ACU is working to promote inclusion and access to education for underrepresented groups, and will speak to students about their research in the fields of sustainability, global health and peace and reconciliation.

Established in 1913, the ACU is the world’s first and oldest international university network, with more than 500 member institutions in over 50 countries. It is the only accredited organisation representing higher education across the Commonwealth. The ACU champions higher education as a force for good in the Commonwealth and beyond. Among its key principles is the value of higher education to society – or its role ‘as a common good’ – and the conviction that this value is enhanced by international collaboration. The ACU manages international scholarship schemes, convenes universities to address key policy challenges such as climate resilience and peace and reconciliation, and promotes the role of universities in delivering the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

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