Internationalisation by demarcating the role of higher education in Sustainable Development Goals: The case of Israel

Miri Yemini*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Many policy makers and scholars consider higher education to be a key driver for states' implementation of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); however, the impact of higher education in national SDGs adoption likely differs, based on features and characteristics of particular states. Hence, this study has two aims: (a) to analyse the public discourse on the engagement of the State of Israel with SDG implementation, focusing on the role of higher education in this process; and (b) to discuss the unique position of Israel in implementing and discussing SDGs, given the state's characteristic as a high-income OECD country involved in an intractable geo-political conflict that profoundly affects its society. Following an analysis of documents, I highlight the discrepancies between the potential role of higher education in implementing the SDGs and the role of higher education as articulated by the state and public discourse. Two significant discrepancies are found: first, the complete absence of Israel's national conflict in the discourse on SDGs reflected in formal documents published both by the state and by Israeli NGOs. Second, the misalignment between the structure and function of higher education in Israel in terms of internationalisation strategies adopted and the specific role ascribed to higher education within the SDG discourse.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)235-247
Number of pages13
JournalEuropean Journal of Education
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2021


FundersFunder number
Israel's Space Agency
Ministry of Science and Technology, Israel


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