OUR EDUCATION FOR SUSTAINABILITY WORK
The most important impact universities can have for sustainability is to prepare graduates to respond to its challenges as future professionals.
We do not want to just include ‘sustainability’ as an interest, theme or special topic, slotted in to an existing course. We see sustainability ideas and concerns as a broader context that shapes the kind of education we need to provide and the capabilities we want our graduates to have.
This means bringing sustainability into core learning experiences across the curriculum portfolio but also through the campus environment, in professional experiences and social or community activities. We are recognised internationally for our ‘big picture’ strategic approach to Education for Sustainability and have won many awards and commissions for our work.
Academic Innovation Projects
Focus: European professional development in EfS
Funder: European Commission
Participants: 53 organisations across 33 countries. Led by University of Gloucestershire with Charles University of Prague, Leuphana University of Lunenburg, Autonomous University of Madrid.
UE4SD mapped policy and practice, identified and created leading practices and built an expert network on EfS.
Focus: Flexible Learning and EfS Funder: Higher Education Academy Participants: New Pedagogical Ideas theme led by University of Gloucestershire. Wider Flexible Pedagogy programme composed of five research themes led by Professor Ron Barnett for HEA. Commissioned research connecting shifts in pedagogical thinking with agendas in flexible learning and exploring the links with EfS and future learning.
Focus: Quality assurance and enhancement and EfS
Funder: Higher Education Funding Council for England
Participants: Led by University of Gloucestershire in collaboration with the Quality Assurance Agency, Aston University, University of Brighton, University of Exeter and Oxford Brookes University.
Building alignment between EfS and quality enhancement and assurance, to produce strategic guidance and case studies, for universities and HE stakeholders, at sectoral, institutional and individual levels.
This UNESCO commissioned project ‘Linking Culture, Education and Sustainability: Good Practices and Experiences from Around the World’ analysed successful education and learning initiatives that demonstrate the added value of culture and intercultural dialogue in fostering creative and inclusive approaches to sustainability.
Policy Review Report
Curriculum and professional development scheme (2012 – 16) supported by our Academic Development Unit, providing £67,500 of funding to develop 27 new teaching initiatives across academic departments and professional services teams. LSF was recognized as good practice in our 2015 QAA audit and was Highly Commended in the 2013 UK Green Gown Awards.
We take strategic steps to integrate Education for Sustainability principles into curriculum development and the academic practice of our staff, as well as our research and innovation activities.
- We have senior management level expertise tasked with progressing EfS – our Director of Sustainability is an EfS specialist and this role is formally linked into our Academic Development Unit, to inform our wider teaching and learning enhancement programme.
- Education for Sustainability and our LIFT programme is embedded within the University’s Strategic Plan 2017-2022 and into our Academic Strategy, as part of our commitment to Sustainability and delivery of the academic goals of our Sustainability Strategy 2017-2022.
- Our EfS strategy is reflected in the Academic Innovation and Student Experience goals of our Sustainability Strategy 2017-2022. We map developments across departments and report on progression in EfS through our Sustainability Committee, which includes student and trade unions representation. We commissioned an external review in 2015 of our achievements and progression in EfS and our new annual sustainability report will include EfS.
- We use an institutional framework to advance our Education for Sustainability work, underpinned by EfS principles promoted by UNESCO for the DESD and GAP and by the UNECE competence framework in EfS. These principles are integrated into the graduate attributes framework in our Strategic Plan 2017-2022 and into the principles of our LIFT programme.
- We provide professional development support to our staff to innovate in the curriculum, to help build the community of practice across our institution and beyond. See our LIFT programme which offers innovation funds, networking lunches, seminars, peer mentoring and shared resources. We involve the Students’ Union and course representatives to build collaboration between staff and students on EfS. See LIFT 2017 co-creation workshop and LIFT 2017 research seminar. EfS is also part of our central academic staff training course, the Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice. See 2017 PGCAP slides.