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Sustainability for Everyone: Here and Now

01 Mar 2021 | Dr Patrick Baughan Dr Patrick Baughan, Advance HE Senior Adviser, Learning and Teaching, introduces our Connect Member Benefit theme for March, Sustainability for Everyone: Here and Now

We are delighted to announce that the theme for March 2021 will be Sustainability for Everyone: Here and Now. This focus is based on the important premise (and need) that sustainability is for everyone, both in higher education and beyond. The theme will consider sustainability as ‘something for everyone’ in higher education specifically, where ‘everyone’ has three applications:

  • First, INCLUSION – ‘everyone’ is intended to be inclusive: no matter who you are, what your background is, or what your role is, sustainability needs and welcomes you – as an advocate and as an actor, to promote and practise sustainability.
  • Second, URGENCY – ‘everyone’ is intended as a call for action. Sustainability and its constituent parts represent urgent issues and, in the higher education sector, we all have responsibilities in progressing sustainable development.
  • Third, ACTION - ‘everyone’ means everyone needs to act in the here and now. No longer is sustainability just for or about future generations. In conjunction with wider arguments, including those espoused in the forthcoming QAA / Advance HE Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) Guidance (see below), we must play our part, as a sector, in progressing sustainability. And it has long been regarded that universities have a major role in supporting and enacting sustainability through both their business activities and in their education.

We will address key questions including:

  • How can we develop higher education teaching and learning about sustainability across all disciplines?
  • How do we ensure that every party in higher education is afforded the opportunity to contribute to and practise sustainability, irrespective of role?
  • Who leads sustainability in higher education and how should sustainability be led?

As part of the theme, we are organising three key outputs. The first is a Live Interview (in a webinar format) comprising a panel of sustainability leaders discussing the future of sustainability in higher education. Second, a Voices of Sustainability Blog (released in two stages) in which we elicit the experiences and ideas of a range of individuals and communities about sustainability, supporting the premise that sustainability belongs to and is the responsibility of everyone. Finally, a special publication about the theme will provide a transcript of the aforementioned interview, and a discussion of other ideas connected with the focus of sustainability for everyone.

Join us what promises to be an innovative and entertaining theme about one of the most pressing issues facing higher education and society at large.

Dr Patrick Baughan, Advance HE.

Full details of March’s Connect Benefit Series Sustainability for Everyone: Here and Now including the sign up link for the live event "Leading Sustainability in Higher Education: Leading for a Lost Cause? " taking place on 15 March, can be found here.

The live event is open to all colleagues at Advance HE member institutions, with a recording being made available following the event for those unable to attend.

Coming later this month…

As well as the Member Benefit activities, Advance HE has two further, linked events taking place this month:

  • Inaugural Advance HE Symposium on Sustainability (online, 25 March 2021). We are excited to confirm that Advance HE will host its first ever symposium on sustainability, entitled Facing Forward with Sustainability: Principles, Progress and Partnership. Speakers include Professor Liz Price (Manchester Metropolitan University), Professor Joy Carter (Vice-Chancellor, University of Winchester) and Professor James Longhurst (University of the West of England). There will also be a strong student presence, as well as a series of presentations and workshops. Book your place here.
  • Publication of QAA / Advance HE Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) Guidance The second edition of this key document provides extensive guidance for programme directors, senior leadership teams and students on ESD, including curriculum design and teaching ideas. The guidelines have been written by an expert group and will be published for the sector at the end of the month.


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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