Education for Sustainable Development

The University’s Policy and Strategy for Sustainability commits the institution to Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) and an ESD strategy has recently been developed.

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. You can also join the ESD Network to share ESD related activities, attend events as well as the opportunity for research and teaching collaborations.

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.

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Want access to a range of sustainable development resources online? Want those resources tailored to your subject?

See Our New Resource Page

This page will provide you with detailed information to support the inclusion of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) materials in the formal curriculum, tailored to a subject by subject basis. Reports on all of our activities are also updated regularly.

The Green Apple Scheme 2014 offers you the opportunity to develop projects that are grounded in your discipline but also relate to Education for Sustainable Development (ESD). You can apply for small grants from the 5000 fund for any projects relating to taught programmes (including undergraduates and taught postgraduates). Opportunity Successful initiatives will receive a showcase opportunity at an international event, hosted at the University of Bristol in 2015. The event will allow you to promote innovations in your discipline that relate to ESD. Initiatives will also be used as best practise examples of teaching and learning approaches and shared widely across the HE sector.

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