As part of the launch for our QAA-funded collaborative project ‘Students driving curriculum quality for Sustainability’, the UOG team met with the QAA Strategic Student Advisory Committee. 

The project purpose is to ensure student views on the depth and quality of sustainability learning are informing future curriculum design and future-fit for driving change in their professional lives.

Newly recruited Education for Sustainability (EfS) Co-ordinator for the project, PhD student Beatrice Hughes, joined Dr Alex Ryan and Miriam Webb to open sector dialogues with student leaders. 

The meeting offered an opportunity to kickstart the discussions that underpin the co-creation methodology of the project, which seeks to empower students to drive the change in our sector.

This dialogue with the student advisory committee of the UK Quality Assurance Agency enabled the input of students whose mission is to inform the QAA’s strategic work and liaise with networks and agencies, to enhance curriculum and learning experiences across the sector. It includes students from a wide range of institutions and subject specialisms across the UK, including representatives on QAA boards, from Students’ Unions and the National Union of Students’ nominated member.

Having shared the ambitions and plans for the project, the student committee provided positive and perceptive input to the project direction, reinforcing the need for a blueprint to help mainstream Education for Sustainability (EfS) into courses in ways that will avoid ‘curriculum greenwash’.  

They encouraged the project to take this vital step to closing the critical gap from surface learning that simply transmits scientific knowledge, towards principles for quality sustainability learning, that brings student voices and professionally relevant learning to the fore across university curricula. 

Equipped with an insight from this critical student advisory group, the project will be testing a set of principles to rate quality EfS that moves past the educator’s perspective alone and explores the received student learning experience. Students will lead the project dialogues and co-designing outputs that can be used by a wide range of other students to drive quality in EfS across the sector. 

The QAA student advisory committee agreed to continue their involvement with the project and provide user-testing and ideas input to support the outputs and outcomes through to June 2023.

‘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.