The general impression gathered from the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals is that only the UN is responsible for the realization of SDGs, also known as global goals. Contrary to this misperception, it is the shared responsibility of all those 193 countries who signed the 2030 Development Agenda in September 2015 at the UN Summit and later pressed these 17 SDGs into execution to achieve 169 key targets for sustainable and equitable development on January 1, 2016. Since their adoption, SDGs have contributed significantly to shaping the contours of global development and environmental governance. The world has already ushered in a new era of social responsibility, ethical business, and sustainable development as the SDGs have drawn a roadmap for global governance by setting ambitious goals for a safer, cleaner, and greener planet. These global goals press hard to embrace the economic, social, and environmental dimensions of development inclusively and equitably and, thus spearhead societies toward a sustainable and equitable future. One of the salient features of the SDGs is the profound focus on the sustainability of the environment and planet Earth. Unlike in MDGs, the climate crisis is at the heart of new initiatives, both at policy and operational levels, and it continues to remain an issue of major concern. Therefore, the role of academia and higher education institutions worldwide is of paramount importance in realizing the UN SDGs through teaching, training, research, knowledge creation, community engagement, and finding innovative solutions to the challenges the world is struggling to deal with today. Beyond the shadow of any doubt, universities are rightly considered to be the hubs of knowledge and innovation, and their role in advancing global sustainability has become increasingly critical. The SDGs provide a comprehensive framework for addressing pressing challenges ranging from poverty and inequality to environmental sustainability and quality education. Beyond the shadow of any doubt, universities are rightly considered to be the hubs of knowledge and innovation, and their role in advancing global sustainability has become increasingly critical. One of the primary functions of universities is to provide education, and this becomes a powerful tool for achieving the SDGs. By integrating the principles of sustainability across disciplines, universities can empower students with the knowledge and skills necessary to contribute to a more sustainable world. This involves not only offering courses explicitly focused on sustainability but also infusing sustainable practices and values throughout the entire curriculum. Furthermore, universities are epicentres of research and innovation, making them instrumental in finding solutions to complex global challenges. Researchers at universities can focus on SDG-related issues, conducting studies that offer insights into sustainable development strategies. This research contributes to the development of innovative technologies, policies, and practices that can drive progress toward the UN SDGs. Similarly, universities are deeply rooted in their communities, and by forging strong partnerships with local stakeholders, they can address community-specific challenges aligned with the SDGs. Community engagement initiatives can include outreach programs, collaborative projects, and knowledge-sharing activities, fostering a sense of shared responsibility for sustainable development. Likewise, higher education institutions can contribute to SDG 5 (Gender Equality) and SDG 10 (Reduced Inequalities) by promoting diversity and inclusion within their campuses. Creating an environment that values and celebrates diversity prepares students to be global citizens who understand the importance of inclusivity in achieving sustainable development. From energy-efficient infrastructure and waste reduction initiatives to sustainable transportation options, universities can demonstrate the feasibility and benefits of sustainable living. Many global challenges outlined in the SDGs require collaborative efforts on an international scale. Thus, universities can contribute by fostering global partnerships, facilitating student and faculty exchanges, and engaging in collaborative research projects with institutions around the world. Universities possess a unique platform for influencing policy and shaping public discourse. Faculty members and researchers can contribute to policy discussions, providing evidence-based recommendations to policymakers. Hence, by serving as hubs of thought leadership, universities can influence the development and implementation of policies aligned with the SDGs. The University of Leicester, the United Kingdom, has emerged as an amazing success story. Rising to the occasion and recognizing its critical role as a university of international reckoning and known for its research-intensive learning ambience, it has manifested an unwavering commitment to putting sustainability at the centre stage of its teaching, learning, and research activities. In the recently-announced, 2024 QS World University Rankings, featuring sustainability as a key performance indicator, the university has leap-frogged around 116 places to secure 185th in almost 1400 universities from across the globe. Likewise, it went up the ladder by jumping two positions to become 37th in the United Kingdom. This is, by no means, a small feat. These insights certainly inform the students, sponsors, partners, and other stakeholders about the universities’ commitment to achieving its ambitious goal of achieving net zero by 2040. The university research team working on the pressing issues of climate change is already in Dubai to showcase their outstanding work at COP28. It is pertinent to mention that the academics and researchers of the University have been relentlessly pursuing their investigation of the impact of climate change since the 1980s. It is also pertinent to mention that the University of Leicester has already developed lasting partnerships and evolved enduring synergies with stakeholders from the public and private sectors for leveraging its unique research insights to find innovative solutions that align with UN SDGs. The Institute for Environmental Futures is leading by example and showing others the way through its high-impact research on climate change and human-environment systems. In September 2017, the university became one of the first few in the UK to sign UN SDGs and today takes pride in hosting the headquarters of the NERC National Centre for Earth Observation (NCEO). In a nutshell, it can safely be inferred that in their persistent pursuit of the SDGs, universities emerge as catalysts for change. Higher education institutions can inspire a new generation of leaders and contribute substantially to the global efforts aimed at creating a more equitable, inclusive, and sustainable world. As we navigate the challenges of the 21st century, the role of universities in realizing the SDGs becomes not only significant but imperative for the well-being of our planet and future generations. The writer is a civil servant, published author, and communication specialist. He is currently enrolled as a PhD Scholar at the University of Leicester, UK.