14 March 2012The University’s Policy and Strategy for Sustainability commits the institution to Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) and an ESD strategy has recently been approved. UNESCO defines ESD in a broad manner covering four main areas: social and economic justice, cultural diversity, human rights of future generations and the protection and restoration of the Earth’s ecosystems. It also stresses the importance of critical thinking, inter-disciplinary, multi-method approaches to assessment and challenging approaches to, and ideas about, teaching and learning.
Increasingly the HEA and other higher education bodies are placing importance on ESD. A recent national survey of students has found that sustainability concerns are significant in student’s university choices and that 80% believe that sustainability skills are going to be important to future employers. A survey of employers found that they considered the social/environmental ethics, values and experience of university students as part of their graduate recruitment.
In order to assist faculties and schools in embedding ESD, two student interns have been appointed. Aisling Tierney and Hannah Tweddell, based in Estates, are working on mapping current ESD provision, assisting schools in identifying useful resources and course specific strategies. A mapping tool has been produced to assist schools in identifying ESD activity within the curriculum.
If you are interested in developing ESD in the curriculum for example through workshops or in using the mapping tool we have developed to reflect on your curriculum or have any good examples you would like to share please get in touch.