Global climate activist calls
for a new education system
to help save the planet
Globally-renowned environmentalist and GCU honorary graduate, Dr Satish Kumar,
is calling for a new education system to be introduced in universities around the
world to help save the planet.
As COP26 ends in Glasgow, he
insisted that education was
contributing to the climate crisis and
the current system being used in many
universities was out of date.
Dr Kumar said: "We must have a
new education system. Education is
more than a resource for the economy.
Nature is a source of life itself and we
have to bring this into our education.
"We need to educate young people
that we are not here to conquer or
exploit nature. We are here to revere
nature and live in harmony with nature.
That nature-centred education has to
be brought into the 21st century.
"It has to change from a 'me'
education to 'we' education. That is the
new challenge for our 21st century.
Education is part of the problem. We
need to make it part of the solution.
"All the problems we face today of
climate change, social inequality, the
fossil fuel industry and big
corporations emitting lots of
pollution and waste, are designed,
led and created by highly educated
people from some of the big
universities of the world such
as Harvard, Yale, Cambridge
the world today are out
of date. This old
teaching young people to look at nature
as if it was only a resource for the
economy. They are still training young
people to go out in the world and get
jobs which will produce pollution, waste
and carbon emissions, creating more
global warming, climate change and
However, he hailed Glasgow
Caledonian University (GCU) as one of
the best in the world for addressing
climate change and injustice, and urged
other universities to learn lessons from
its education system with new paths
and ways of learning aimed at
protecting the planet.
Dr Kumar said: "Glasgow Caledonian
University is one of the leading
universities to address these climate
issues in our modern times, but in the
rest of the world, most of our
universities are still following the old
educational system, which was
designed for the industrial age in the
19th and 20th century.
"I congratulate the University for its
wonderful work. I hope that this
example can be implemented and
practised by other universities so that
they can bring nature, ecology,
environment, social justice and gender
equality into the education system and
not just teach students how to get a job
and be successful."
Activist and speaker, Dr Kumar has
been a Jain monk, nuclear disarmament
advocate and pacifist, and is founder
and Director of Programmes of the
Schumacher College International
Centre for Ecological Studies.
GCU Principal and Vice-Chancellor
Professor Pamela Gillies CBE FRSE
welcomed Dr Kumar's passion for
change and his praise of the
University's forward-thinking education
She said: "The tide is turning.
Universities around the world are now
making commitments to the United
Nations Sustainable Development
Goals to cement their commitment into
Dr Kumar was awarded a Doctor of
Laws (LLD) at GCU's summer
graduations in recognition of his
outstanding contribution towards
promoting peace and the environment
through his activism.
“We need to
we are not here to
conquer or exploit