Friday, 14 October 2011

Education for Sustainable Development

This week has seen the Sustainability Team spread across all three campuses flitting from meeting to meeting and from one sustainability event to another. This week we have had the Sustainable Procurement Exhibition - giving staff members a chance to meet suppliers and quiz them on their sustainability credentials, a meeting with Kent University and Canterbury Christchurch University about combining the three universities' efforts on Green Impact, the monthly meeting of the London Universities Environmental Group and an appearance on the Guardian HE Network website! Phew!

On top of all that yesterday saw the bringing together of teachers, researchers, directors, students and other interested parties for an 'open-space' event to discuss the strategic direction for embedding sustainability across the university's curriculum. The event saw everyone discussing three key topics agreed by the group as key to embedding sustainability across the institution: Staff Training and Communications, Student Engagement and Institutional Approaches. The format of the event saw everyone split into smaller groups and really focus on the key issues at hand and to develop some actions for everyone to vote on.

Voting on the best actions for engaging students with sustainability
What actions can you take for communicating sustainability?

What would be the best institutional approaches for embedding sustainability into the curriculum?

Mind map of key issues with communicating sustainability among the staff body
There were some particularly popular actions chosen to steer the University towards embedding sustainability in the curriculum - the most popular choice being that students could take part or are required to take part in a course or unit that includes sustainability outside of their faculty and normal course programme. Another particularly popular choice among the students was using Wednesday afternoons for volunteering or sustainability activities as an alternative to sporting activities. The group has agreed to meet again and keep track on the progress of how the embedding process is going and we will of course be keeping you updated here on the blog.

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