Global Citizenship Education

Education that opens people’s eyes and minds to the realities of the world and awakens them to bring about a world of greater justice, equity and human rights for all.

(Maastricht Global Education Declaration, 2002)

News: Global Citizenship Education Symposium 2024 recap

Maastricht University's 5th Symposium for Global Citizenship on 23 May 2024 was held under the theme of Transformative Engagement. The event drew educational staff and students from various universities and institutes to explore the implementation of transformative engagement in higher education. 

Read the event recap, including workshop summaries, presentation slides, photo gallery and video impression.

What is Global Citizenship Education?

University graduates are expected to serve our communities as ethical leaders, innovative researchers, or empathic professionals who help to create conditions that mitigate some of the many wicked problems our world faces, like inequality, poverty, migration and the climate crisis. Global citizenship education aims to help students develop these qualities.

UNESCO states that Global Citizen Education (GCEd) aims to empower learners of all ages to assume active roles, both locally and globally, in building more peaceful, tolerant, inclusive and secure societies.

In this short introductory video interview, Herco Fonteijn explains how GCEd is implemented at our university. Herco Fonteijn is in charge of institution-wide initiatives to mainstream global citizenship for sustainable development at Maastricht University. 

Global Citizenship Education at Maastricht University

"Together with many teachers and students from different faculties, we developed what we call a hospitable framework of global citizenship education at Maastricht University based on three main pillars: global competence, social responsibility and transformative engagement."

Herco Fonteijn, associate professor at the Department of Work and Social Psychology, Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience, Maastricht University.

As a starting point, UM students and teachers identified an evolving framework to tailor GCEd to their programmes and to guide the development of a repertoire of GCEd activities. It specified three major pillars and skills, values and attitudes which accompany them.  

GCEdGlobal literacy / Systems thinkingSocial responsibility / Normative competenceTransformative engagement
KNOWLEDGEcomplex interdependency, history and futures literacy, cultural world viewssocial justice, power, citizenship, human rights, peace, (meta-)ethics, SDGs(geo)politics, media literacy, behaviour change

On the following pages you will find explanations of each of the elements if you click on the relevant links. There is also information about past and upcoming events, how GCEd is being implemented in the faculties as well as through student initiatives.

If you are looking for more information on GCEd in general, related concepts, as well as information on partners, please check our resources page.