The Himalayan University Consortium (HUC) – an initiative under the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development’s (ICIMOD) Mountain Knowledge and Action Networks (MKAN) Regional Programme – provides a platform to enhance collaboration among universities in the Hindu Kush Himalayan (HKH) region and promote centres of excellence on key topics relevant to the region. The aim is to foster research and learning by building a dynamic mountain knowledge partnership among universities, ICIMOD, and regional member country partners to promote research and learning. This network engages students and professionals capable of undertaking high-quality research, education, teaching, and knowledge dissemination in service of a mountain-specific, sustainable, fair, and inclusive development for HKH communities and adjoining mountainous areas.
The HUC Academy is the Consortium’s flagship annual programme that provides opportunities for young researchers to engage in cross-disciplinary scholarship. It aims to foster a new generation of transformational leaders committed to mountain research, capable of producing consequential knowledge, innovate policies, and environmentally responsible business practices to address mountain challenges in the HKH from transboundary perspectives. The four signature features of the HUC Academy are mountain focus, inter- and trans-disciplinarity, field research, and leadership.
Transformative change requires targeting the root causes that result in social, economic, political, and environmental problems and inequities. It is mainly accompanied by changes in economic structures and relations to enhance productivity in an environmentally sound manner and ensure equitable distribution of its benefits. The HUC Academy 2019 – under the theme “Harnessing economic opportunities for transformative change in the Hindu Kush Himalaya” – will take place in Kathmandu from 23 September to 2 October 2019. The programme aims to improve the knowledge of students and early-career professionals in identifying and analysing emerging economic opportunities and their relevance to transformative change in the HKH.
The HUC Academy 2019 aims to:
- Enhance applied knowledge on economic development and sustainability issues in the HKH region;
- Improve skills to design and implement frameworks for harnessing economic opportunities to bring about transformative change in the HKH;
- Identify a set of practical skills and competencies required by academics, practitioners, and future leaders and help them work on the same;
- Create an interdisciplinary network of teaching faculty and scholars working on the economics–transformative change nexus.