As indicated in the news section of Times Higher Education, the suspension of international travel during the Covid-19 pandemic has caused many to revisit confident assertions that the 21st century will be defined by smooth and unfettered global links.

In fact, the coronavirus pandemic has reminded us how our future is inescapably global. Viruses – like so many other problems, from climate change to refugee crises and threats to peace and stability – are undeterred by national boundaries. They require action and analysis on a global scale – with the race for a vaccine highlighting some of the most commendable international cooperation seen in recent years.

But undergraduate education offers an extraordinary resource to lift consciousness to a global plane and set us on a course of international response.

Undergraduate education must become the powerful and innovative engine for citizenship and leadership in this global century. It must engage students in broad interdisciplinary analysis of the major challenges that face humanity, including sustaining and enhancing our environment, protecting and improving global health and reducing global inequality.