The Association of Commonwealth Universities

As a university graduate, Her Royal Highness is a strong advocate of accessible education for all, something she spoke of most recently during her visit to Fiji last year. Established in 1913, the ACU is the world’s first and oldest international university network, with more than 500 member institutions in over 50 countries. It is the only accredited organisation representing higher education across the Commonwealth. The ACU champions higher education as a force for good in the Commonwealth and beyond.

Among its key principles is the value of higher education to society – or its role ‘as a common good’ – and the conviction that this value is enhanced by international collaboration. The ACU manages international scholarship schemes – including the UK government’s three major scholarship programmes and The Queen Elizabeth Commonwealth Scholarships – that offer life-changing educational opportunities, convenes universities to address key policy challenges such as climate resilience and peace and reconciliation, and promotes the role of universities in delivering the UN Sustainable Development Goals. For more information please visit https://www.acu.ac.uk/.

During her recent visit to Fiji, The Duchess announced new Gender Grants for ACU member universities in the Pacific to fund new learning initiatives aimed at empowering female university staff and promoting gender equality. Her Royal Highness last month met with university leaders, academics and international scholarship students as they discussed the role of higher education in addressing issues such as human trafficking, modern slavery, gender equality, peace and reconciliation, and climate change.