If future generations are to be more environmentally-friendly than this one, it’s important that those in power appreciate the importance of developing and investing in greener practices. That’s why new guidance for educators has been published to enable them to equip graduates with what they need to lead changes in society and help to reduce environmental impact on the planet.
Dr Sarah Speight from The University of Nottingham’s School of Education helped to shape the guidance, Education for sustainable development: Guidance for UK higher education providers. It has been published by the Quality Assurance Agency and the Higher Education Academy.
The document is available online: http://www.qaa.ac.uk/Publications/InformationAndGuidance/Documents/Education-sustainable-development-Guidance-June-14.pdf
The guidance was produced after extensive consultation within higher education involving academics from across a wide range of different universities.
Dr Speight said: “The process has involved considerable debate as our own different perspectives and angles on sustainability came to the fore and we considered how best to offer guidance to a broad spectrum of colleagues involved in programme design and delivery.”
Nottingham is already a sector-leading sustainable university and has developed a range of initiatives to impress the importance of greener practices on both staff and students. This includes investing in carbon-neutral, energy efficient buildings across all campuses and an extensive bike hire scheme.
The University has also led the way in learning for sustainability by offering free online courses – the Nottingham Open Online Course (NOOC) for students and staff, and the Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) Sustainability, Society and You, which is open to all.
Dr Speight believes this guidance moves the sustainability in higher education agenda on a step further, even for those institutions which are already prioritising the issue. She said: “The guidance explains what kinds of outcomes graduates can gain from learning about sustainability, and it explores the ways in which we can work with our students to help them achieve these outcomes.
“The document is not prescriptive – it is a guidance code. And much of it is itself transferable to other big themes within our teaching and learning strategy, like internationalisation and employability. The nature of higher education is fast changing and this signals new ways of looking at the core curriculum.”
More information is available from Fraser Wilson, Communications Officer at The University of Nottingham, on +44 (0)115 846 6691, firstname.lastname@example.org
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Notes to editors: The University of Nottinghamhas 43,000 students and is ‘the nearest Britain has to a truly global university, with campuses in China and Malaysia modelled on a headquarters that is among the most attractive in Britain’ (Times Good University Guide 2014). It is also the most popular university in the UK among graduate employers, one of the world’s greenest universities, and winner of the Times Higher Education Award for ‘Outstanding Contribution to Sustainable Development’. It is ranked in the World’s Top 75 universities by the QS World University Rankings.
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