The Okanagan Charter

The Okanagan Charter: An International Charter for Health Promoting Universities and Colleges is an outcome of the 2015 International Conference on Health Promoting Universities and Colleges

The Charter development process engaged over 380 researchers, practitioners, administrators, students and policy makers from 45 countries including Representatives from the World Health Organization, Pan American Health Organization and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.

The Charter provides a framework to guide the development of Health Promoting Universities and Colleges. In particular, it includes:

Two Calls to Action for higher education institutions
Key Principles for Action
The Okanagan CharterDownload the PDF

Benefits to Adopting the Charter

The Charter calls on higher education to embed health into everyday operations, business practices and academic mandates, as well as to lead health promotion action and collaboration. Canadian Universities and Colleges are well positioned to generate and implement health promoting knowledge into practice. There are many advantages of doing so:

  • enhance our health and wellbeing, essential to achieving our full potential in teaching and learning, research, and engagement
  • develop healthy and sustainable campus environments by embedding health promotion into institutional policies and campus cultures
  • generate transformational teaching and learning environments, an increasingly strategic requirement for attracting top talent and for student, faculty and staff satisfaction, retention and performance
  • align with global agendas to improve social and environmental determinants of health