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Education for Sustainable Development

04 Dec 2020 | Advance HE Today, Advance HE and the QAA launch a consultation on the revised Education for Sustainable Development guidance for UK higher education providers.

The Education for Sustainable Development guidance was developed and published in 2014; and this year it has undergone a major review. The guidance builds upon the concept of education for sustainable development and identifies a process and offers a toolkit for designing education for sustainable development into curricula.

Following significant developments within the higher education sector, and set against the backdrop of the adoption of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (2015-2030), the consultation represents a major rewrite of the ESD guidance. The review reflects changes in understanding about and priorities in sustainable development (SD), and the increased urgency for everybody in society to take positive action in addressing sustainable development issues.

Advance HE and QAA have worked with the sector in revising this guidance. An expert group made up of individuals drawn from and acting on behalf of the higher education community advised on its content. 

We now wish to gather wider views from the higher education community and stakeholders in order to further shape the draft prior to final publication in Spring 2021.  

In a joint statement, co-chairs of the expert group, Professor Jim Longhurst, Assistant Vice-Chancellor: Environment & Sustainability, UWE Bristol and Professor Simon Kemp, Professorial Fellow in Education, Education for Sustainable Development, Sustainability in Higher Education, University of Southampton, said: “This guidance is intended to assist staff in UK higher education institutions seeking to incorporate Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) within the curricula. It provides a framework to support curriculum design, and general guidance on approaches to teaching, learning and assessment with the aim of supporting students from any discipline to acquire the knowledge, understanding and skills necessary to develop values and take actions to transition society towards sustainable futures.”

We welcome contributions to this consultation from anyone with an interest in students' academic experiences, including staff within higher education institutions who work on aspects of course design and delivery, who have responsibility for academic quality, or who have particular expertise in sustainability and sustainability education.  We would also like to hear from students and employers or their representatives, as well as those working in higher education support organisations. 

Join the consultation – please submit your responses by Friday 22 January 2021.

We feel it is important for voices to be heard to stimulate debate and share good practice. Blogs on our website are the views of the author and don’t necessarily represent those of Advance HE.

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