In July we hosted partners from University of the Arts London (UAL) and King’s College London (KCL) for a productive two day immersive methodology workshop at University of Gloucestershire (UOG) for our pioneering project ‘Students driving curriculum quality for sustainability’. 

Joining Dr Alex Ryan (Director of Sustainability) and Miriam Webb (Sustainability Engagement Manager) at UOG were the partnership leads Nina Stevenson (Head of Education, Sustainability at Centre for Sustainable Fashion, UAL) and Kat Thorne (Director of Sustainability at KCL). 

Each partner is recruiting paid student team members to steer and deliver the student-led elements, with Beatrice Hughes from UOG and Roberta Davico from UAL joining the workshop. These critical student roles bringing fresh and critical input to the project direction and ensure its co-production ethos and core purpose of ensuring students influence the future higher education curriculum.

Led by UOG, this project is designing and testing a blueprint for quality curriculum for sustainability – creating foundational principles for what matters most in Education for Sustainability (EfS).  

Students increasingly seek learning that empowers them to lead change in sustainability, but with no benchmarking in EfS, students have no way to judge the quality of what courses offer. This project is collaborating with students and partners in three university settings to test a framework developed at UOG that has been used to rate its course portfolio, informed by academics and student views. 

Having worked on the project for four months so far, Beatrice has carried out a review of sector practices for measuring EfS in different institutions. The research is providing clarity on the approaches in use and insight into the issues students would like to see tackled. 

With fresh momentum from the workshop, the student team members will lead dialogues with course representatives and student leaders in 2022-23 on Education for Sustainability (EfS). They will act as quality assessors to rate the depth of sustainability learning from the learner perspective, posing critical questions to uncover other students’ experiences of sustainability in their courses.  

Beatrice will be collaborating with the other student team members to lead on the creation of outputs that provide the next step in empowering student voice to influence the curriculum for sustainability, and engaging in dialogue with other student voice leaders and agencies in the sector.

‘Students driving curriculum quality for sustainability’ is a Collaborative Enhancement Project supported and funded by QAA Membership. The project is led by University of Gloucestershire in partnership with King’s College London and University of the Arts, London.

Find out more about Collaborative Enhancement Projects on the QAA website.