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Advance HE and QAA to launch landmark new guidance on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)

15 Mar 2021 | Advance HE The revised is guidance intended to help UK higher education institutions incorporate Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) within their curricula.

This month will see the launch of new guidance on Education for Sustainable Development in higher education, jointly published by QAA and Advance HE. The revised Education for Sustainable Development guidance (ESDG) is intended to help UK higher education institutions incorporate Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) within their curricula. 

The guidance comes at a time of increased urgency to tackle the climate crisis and its interconnected development needs. As the UK prepares to host the COP26 UN Climate Conference later this year in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the higher education sector has a key role in helping address sustainable development issues. 

QAA and Advance HE brought together a group of experts representing academic, business and student communities, with the aim of supporting all students to acquire the skills necessary to develop values and take actions to transition society towards a sustainable future. The guidance gives advice and support on curriculum design, as well as teaching, learning and assessment approaches. 

Advance HE’s Chief Executive, Alison Johns, said: ‘I believe this guidance offers really robust support for the sector as it continues to incorporate Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) within the curricula. As students transition through higher education and take their place as global citizens, it’s vital, whatever their academic discipline or onward route in life, that they have the opportunity to acquire the knowledge, understanding and skills to play their part in ensuring a sustainable world.’

QAA's Chief Executive, Douglas Blackstock, said: ‘The last year has tested our ability to respond to global crises - the higher education sector has led the way in adapting rapidly, following the science, and working collaboratively with partners across the world. This major revamp of our ESD guidance will help apply those skills to meeting the sustainable development goals. Thank you to everyone who helped work on it.’ 

The full guidance will be available for any staff member or student at a QAA or Advance HE Member institution.

A launch event for the guidance will be held on 29 March, and registration is open here. The revised guidance will be published on the morning of 29 March 2021 and will be available to Advance HE members here and to QAA members here.

Following the launch will be a programme of associated workshops, training, webinars, and targeted support from both QAA and Advance HE.

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