Date: 9-20 January 2023

Location: An online (southern hemisphere) summer school by the University of York, England

Fees: £950

Theme: The World’s Biggest Problems and How to Influence the Solutions

Over the past few years global figures have been speaking out about the greatest challenges the world faces. Politicians, business leaders and academics have had to become increasingly skilled in influencing change on a global platform.

As a student of a Worldwide Universities Network (WUN) member university, you may be aware of the groundbreaking research that your institution is doing to support the UN’s agenda on sustainable development. In celebration of the excellence around the network this course will give you an opportunity to collaborate with students of fellow WUN partner universities to learn about the challenges that academics across the world unite to tackle.

This course will help you to appreciate the complexities of global challenges and learn how world-leading academics from a range of disciplines - spanning the sciences, social sciences and arts and humanities - are working together to find solutions.

As an aspiring leader, this course will help you to develop the skills you need to help influence institutions to act in accordance with the Sustainable Development Goals, whether your career aspirations lie in academia, policy making and multilateral organisations or the private sector.

Contact us

Centre for Global Programmes
+44 (0) 1904 322846

WUN summer school is like no others. The style of the sessions is perfect where one gets to interact and share one's opinion with like-minded smart students from across the globe.

The thought and organization put into the program is evidence of the intention to cause impact. We not only learned from very knowledgeable and experienced scholars, but also got the best mentors coming from different parts of the world. Self-drive was engrained in us through the student-led seminars that were only monitored by the tutors.

Course content

There will be a series of keynote talks followed by a seminar-style discussion of the key issues raised. To prepare you for your project, workshop-style skills sessions will focus on leadership and influencing and you will have masterclasses on engaging academia, industry and government.

Adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) provide a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future. Collectively the 17 goals are an urgent call for action by all countries - developed and developing - in a global partnership. They recognise that ending poverty and other deprivations must go hand-in-hand with strategies that improve health and education, reduce inequality and spur economic growth – all while tackling climate change and working to preserve our oceans and forests.

Forming the backbone of the programme, keynote talks on the issues surrounding the SDGs will be delivered by leading academics. Topics could include:

  • The Global Problem of Pharmaceutical Pollution
  • Global Food Systems
  • Access to Education
  • Gender Equality
  • Reducing Inequality
  • Climate Change
  • Climate and Land Use
  • Human Rights

These keynotes will provide you with an introduction to the work of leading academics. Hearing from such a wide variety of academic disciplines, plus gaining perspectives from the other international attendees in the follow up seminars, will highlight the importance of taking an interdisciplinary and global approach to answering the world’s greatest challenges.

Seminars and small group discussions will follow from keynotes and provide you with the opportunity to discuss issues raised, and explore interdisciplinary solutions in greater detail. The seminars will take place live with a CGP tutor. You will be allocated groups for these discussions in similar time zones.

Complementing the keynotes and seminars, skills sessions and masterclasses will equip you with the necessary tools necessary to influence others and coordinate meaningful global action for the SDGs. To this end there will be individual sessions on:

  • Intercultural competency
  • The theory of influencing
  • The theory and practice of leadership
  • Engaging industry in the SDGs
  • Considerate research on SDGs 

Tying the programme together, a central project running throughout the programme will provide you with the means to reflect in-depth upon the input and to synthesise and apply new learning gained. Working in small groups, you will examine in detail one SDG and present your findings via a short three minute thesis style presentation. You'll have access to an academic mentor for this presentation.

A series of social activities will help you get to know your fellow participants. There will also be virtual tours of York so you still experience the historic city, regularly voted on the best places to live in the UK.

The course fee is £950 GBP and includes:

  • a full timetable of lectures by guest speakers, skill sessions, masterclasses and seminars (all teaching materials are included)
  • access to our virtual learning environment
  • a social programme, including virtual tours
  • an academic mentor to advise on your presentation 
  • a CGP tutor to support you through the duration of the programme     
  • an end of course certificate.

For further details about refunds please see the terms and conditions.

You should enquire with the WUN Coordinator at your own university if there are any additional bursaries available to you.

There is limited funding available from the WUN for students with particular financial needs; this will be allocated based on set criteria using the information you provide in your application form.

There is one full programme fee waiver available for a York student. Any other successful York applicants (who are not awarded the full programme fee waiver) will be assessed on a case-by-case basis. It's therefore important to include as much information as possible about the reasons for requesting additional funding in your application.

Important dates


Key information

9 November 2022

Initial application deadline for students

The deadline for this application is 5pm BST.

There may be several applications from one university; if this is the case, the WUN Coordinator will consider your application against other applicants from your university, based on your statement of interest.

During this time your application will also be considered for additional funding.

16 November 2022

Applications and bursary requests considered in consultation with Worldwide Universities Network (WUN) Coordinators

The WUN has a discrete amount of funds available; you should enquire with your own university WUN Coordinator if there are any additional bursaries available to you.

23 November 2022

York administrators notify applicants if they have been successful

Successful applicants register for programme with University of York

You will be sent an online registration form to secure your place on the programme; by completing this form, you confirm your intention to attend. 

You will be notified how much scholarship or bursary has been awarded to you.

If the course is oversubscribed, there will be a waiting list.

30 November 2022

Deadline for paying programme fee

Successful applicants have a 14-day cooling off period after payment (this is a period of time following a purchase when you may choose to cancel your place on the programme and receive a full fee refund).

During the application you will be asked about:

  • how you plan to fund your place on the programme
  • how you will benefit from attendance at the programme personally, academically and professionally
  • what you might do to prepare for the challenges you may face while participating in the programme.

Apply now

This programme is open exclusively to undergraduate students from WUN Partner universities who are ideally in their penultimate year of studies. Applicants from other undergraduate years will be considered.

If you're unsure whether your university is a partner, please see WUN members.

Recognising that tackling the Sustainable Development Goals involves cooperation from across the disciplines, this course is open to students studying any subject.

Students will be participating in lively discussions; as a guideline, a minimum of CEFR C1 or IELTS 6 is recommended.

For general queries about the summer school, please contact

For information specific to your university, including whether any scholarships are available towards the programme, please contact your university’s WUN Coordinator.

Contact us

Centre for Global Programmes
+44 (0) 1904 322846