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)

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.

What GCEd is and how it is implemented at Maastricht University, you can see in this short introductory video interview with Herco Fonteijn:

Herco Fonteijn talking about Global Citizenship Education

As a starting point, UM students and teachers have identified an evolving framework to tailor GCEd to their programmes and to guide the development of a repertory of GCEd activities. It specifies three major pillars and skills, values and attitudes which are going along with that.  

GCEd Global literacy / Systems thinking Social responsibility / Normative competence Transformative engagement

complex interdependency, history and futures literacy, cultural world views

social 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 want to get more information on GCEd in general, related concepts, as well as information on partners, do also check our resources page for further information.