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Embedding Sustainability Into the Higher Education Curriculum: Lessons From the UK's Green Academy Institutional Change Programme
Published: 31 October 2014 by MDPI in The 4th World Sustainability Forum session Sustainability Education and Approaches
Abstract: Universities are facing increasing pressures to change the educational programmes they offer in order to make graduates fit for future citizenship and employment in the 21st Century . These demands come from a complex array of contemporary issues including societal, economic and environmental challenges as well as national and international policy. Recent UK policy pronouncements on the green economy are an important example of such policy change. Curriculum reform and innovation are beginning to take place in many universities in the UK and elsewhere in the world in response to such pressures and policy developments. Examples include the universities of Aberdeen, Southampton and Keele in the UK, Melbourne in Australia and British Columbia in Canada This paper summarizes the outcomes and impact of an institutional-Green Academy- change programme initiated in 2011 by the UK's Higher Education Academy. It reports on progress in the first year from seven of the participating universities, and focuses on the impact of the change programme on whole institutional reform in the way universities approach education for sustainable development (ESD). It offers an overview of how the universities set about changing policy and practice in ESD in order to scale up existing activities, and how they have extended the reach of learning for sustainability into areas of the curriculum in which little or no development had hitherto taken place.
Keywords: Sustainability; curriculum reform; higher education