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Facing the Future in an era of climate emergency

22 Jun 2020 | Dr Patrick Baughan Dr. Patrick Baughan, Senior Adviser, Learning and Teaching asks, '...in an era of climate emergency is it timely for us to re-examine the embedding of sustainability in higher education curricula?' (Find out more and join the member only webinar, 26 June)

In a recent article on the BBC website, reporters discussed several major issues which have been partially or temporarily suspended (at least from the public eye) due to the current pandemic. Last on the list, but described as the most important and the ‘biggest’, was that of the climate emergency – an issue that has not gone away and which the world still very much has to address.

In this webinar, we will consider the question: in the era of a ‘climate emergency’, is it timely for us to re-examine the embedding of sustainability in higher education curricula? What does sustainability in the curriculum mean and involve and are there any lessons that can be learned from the handling of the on-going pandemic that can be applied here? Afterall, both are worldwide events and both need – or will need – our urgent attention. Do efforts to promote teaching about sustainability and environmental priorities need to be intensified? And do we need to do so more consistently across all disciplines? Conversely, would such actions be intrusive, reducing learners’ opportunities to become experts in their chosen disciplines?

These important issues will be considered by our expert panel. Our speakers comprise: Professor James Longhurst (Professor of Environmental Science and Assistant Vice-Chancellor for Environment and Sustainability, University of the West of England), Quinn Runkle (Director of Education for SOS-UK [Students Organising for Sustainability]) – the sustainability charity of the UK National Union of Students; Professor Zoe Robinson (Professor of Sustainability in Higher Education, Co-Director of the Institute for Sustainable Futures, and Director of Education for Sustainability, Keele University). James will be joined Dr Kate Mori (Quality and Standards Specialist, QAA) who will introduce the new QAA / Advance HE Education for Sustainable Development Guidelines Document, to be published later this year. The event will include time for questions and discussion, and will be chaired by Dr Patrick Baughan (Advance HE), who recently completed a phenomenographic research project investigating sociologists’ conceptions of sustainability in higher education.

Book your place: Facing the Future – In an era of ‘climate emergency’, is it timely for us to re-examine the embedding of sustainability in higher education curricula? (Members only), Fri, 26/06/2020, 11:00-12:00

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