As pioneers in Education for Sustainability (EfS), we are delighted to have secured funding to lead a ground-breaking project with King’s College London and University of the Arts London that will drive curriculum quality for sustainability across the Higher Education sector. 

With research by the National Union of Students sustainability charity, SOS-UK, indicating that 84% of students expect sustainable development to be actively incorporated into all courses, UoG is working with students and partners to develop and test a set of principles to assess the quality of EfS integration, and call out the growing potential for ‘curriculum greenwash’.  

Funded by the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) for Higher Education, through its Collaborative Enhancement Projects scheme, the project will have a strong focus on developing graduates who can lead change for sustainability, not just reproduce knowledge. It will also push the sector to move sustainability education out of the margins and beyond simply badging course content with ‘single-issue’ UN Global Sustainable Development Goals.

Working with students in all three institutions the project will draw on best practice and an assessment approach developed at UoG. It will test and refine the principles in different university settings and courses, aiming to close gaps between current learning experiences and what students most value for their development and future lives and careers. 

We are excited to be working on this critical issue with our students and partners at University of the Arts, London, and King’s College London, both known for their sustainability innovations. Our University has been a disruptor in pushing to mainstream transformational course experiences that can help to move the needle for sustainability in society. But our sector needs to do more than just experiment now – we need to grasp what matters most to students and what counts as powerful sustainability education – and to partner with our students to drive quality forward.

Dr Alex Ryan

Director of Sustainability, University of Gloucestershire

‘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.

Understanding the needs and experiences of students is fundamental in designing and delivering creative education that foregrounds human and planetary health. At University of the Arts London (UAL), we have committed to embed climate and social justice into every course by 2023, and through this collaborative project we will surface what is happening on the ground in our courses at London College of Fashion, UAL. Through co-learning with University of Gloucestershire and King’s College London we will challenge Higher Education to deliver high quality teaching and learning for sustainability across a range of disciplines.

Nina Stevenson

Head of Education (Sustainability), Centre for Sustainable Fashion, University of the Arts London

Education for Sustainability is important to our students, many of whom have been involved in projects to embed sustainability into the curriculum in recent years. I am thrilled King’s is taking the next step in this space by partnering with University of Gloucestershire and University of the Arts, London, on this project.

Kat Thorne

Director of Sustainability, King’s College London