The Consortium aims to focus on one specific topic for two years at a time. For the first two years of this new network, the spotlight will be on the issue “Environmental Justice and Sustainability”. Consequently, the first joint conference was titled “The Catholic University, Environmental Justice and Research for a Sustainable Future”. The KU was represented by Prof. Dr. Bernd Cyffka (Floodplain Institute Neuburg), Prof. Dr. Anne-Kathrin Lindau (Sustainability Officer of the KU), Prof. Dr. Hans-Martin Zademach (Economic Geography), Dr. Frank Zirkl (Human Geography), student Fabian Arnold and KU Vice-President Prof. Dr. Klaus Stüwe. For Vice-President Stüwe, the launch of the CCU is a “first step on a common path for the participating universities to receive mutual impulses for their respective research and teaching.” He said that interdisciplinary and international approaches were essential, especially in view of the ecological challenges.
In several working groups, participants addressed issues such as access to water, questions of food supply and security, prospects for a future energy supply, and poverty, inequality and education.
Besides the KU and the University of Notre Dame, the CCU includes:
- Ukrainian Catholic University, Lviv
- Bethlehem University, Bethlehem, West Bank, Palestine
- Fu Jen Catholic University, Taiwan
- Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago, Chile
- Pontificia Universidade Catolica de Sao Paulo-Sao Paulo, Brazil
- Strathmore University, Nairobi, Kenya
- University of Notre Dame, Fremantle, Australia
- Saint Mary’s University-Twickenham, London UK
In 2017, the KU was also among the founding members of another network, the Catholic Consortium for International Higher Education Collaboration, which includes additional partners from Australia, the United States, South America, Asia and Europe.