Staff and students from the University’s Sustainability Team were invited to deliver a headline presentation at the Quality Matters Conference in October 2021 organised by the UK Quality Assurance Agency (QAA).

The team were invited to share their expertise in Education for Sustainability, recognising the growing importance of sustainability in graduate skills profiles of the future. Presenting a session titled ‘Co-creating Sustainability Learning – closing the gaps’, the team were represented by:

  • Dr Alex Ryan (Director of Sustainability)
  • Miriam Webb (Sustainability Engagement Manager)
  • Will Weaving (Live Smart Co-ordinator)
  • Nikki Rimell (Sustainability Communications Officer)

They explored whether academics and students are on the same page when it comes to the curriculum changes needed to deliver on sustainability – and how partnering with students can close the gaps between what higher education courses are delivering and what students most need to learn. The team explained the University’s recognised work to integrate sustainability into course portfolios in ways that move beyond tokenism and empower students to make a difference in their careers.

In the session, the team shared insights from over 10 years of integrating sustainability into the academic life of our university and contributing to sector innovation, through our recognised research and practice in Education for Sustainability and as members of the QAA/AHE expert group that developed the UK’s original and revised guidance in this area.

Education for Sustainable Development

The QAA/AHE guidance on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) released in 2021 urges the sector to take seriously the need for an applied professional competence in sustainability across the future curriculum – and to speed up progress on this agenda urgently in the face of accelerating environmental change.