SDG 4: Quality Education
This goal seeks to ensure inclusive and quality education for all and to promote lifelong learning. We are seeing how rapid technological changes present opportunities and challenges, but to reap the benefits, the learning environment needs to keep pace during every stage of life. We grow as a company and increase our ability to drive innovative sustainable development when people grow. To achieve this, we promote the development of our own people and strive to add value to local communities through contributing to quality education in the areas of engineering, technology and innovation.
Community engagement – South Africa
In South Africa, Royal HaskoningDHV thrives on knowledge, skills and experience and we continually invest in our people and expect them to invest in themselves. Learning and development is part of our commitment to help our employees progress in their careers within our organisation and the industry. As a transnational organisation, we offer our people exposure to global learning and development initiatives (e-learning, talent development programmes), as well as local initiatives. We have been assisting the South African Government with professional development and registration of its engineering staff. We also explore joint venture opportunities to enable small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to participate in larger projects, giving them exposure to international best practice. An initiative by the Young Royals from our Durban offices donated refurbished laptops to the Qhakaza Girl Initiative which provides data literacy education, coding workshops and career development for young women aged between 12 and 21.
Community engagement – United Kingdom
In 2019, we supported the 1851 Trust’s maritime roadshow for girls from disadvantaged areas in three cities. The 1851 Trust is a government-funded initiative to attract more girls into STEM careers and maritime engineering. We also support WISE, a campaign for gender balance in science, technology and engineering. In partnership with Enabling Enterprise, we held two events with local schools to introduce children to the work of engineers and included an engineering challenge.
Linking with engineering education
We collaborate closely with many universities to enrich and extend the student experience. Colleagues provide guest lectures and, in some cases, teach at universities. We also participate in various boards and are on a committee for TU Twente, Delft and Eindhoven which discusses education programmes and profiles of graduating civil engineering students and their match with business needs. In 2019, we have been active in assisting with initiatives enabling students to link their studies with real-world business cases. For example, we provided a case study on resilience to water and climate change risks for the 4TU Challenge Day in which 80 university students worked to brainstorm, develop and pitch their solutions. We provided similar input for an event at the University of Groningen. In 2019, we partnered with the Joint Interdisciplinary Project of TU Delft in which two student teams over a 10-week period designed a digital service which is enhancing resilience, mitigating business risks and reducing impacts caused by climate- and weather-related hazards. We are involved with an international research project at Wageningen University exploring with students the effect of social and environmental impact assessments 10 years on. It is focusing on how recommended measures are implemented and whether they are successful.