The Worcester education for sustainable development model follows a number of strands and has been developed following the Higher Education Academy (now Advance HE) Green Academy program where the University of Worcester was one of the first Universities to follow the change programme.
Education and learning targets
Education and learning SMART targets for 2018/19
Our targets for this year are:
- Retain "Responsible Futures" accreditation, and increase the score from 234 to 250 at next re-accreditation.
How are we going to achieve these targets?
- Launch call 4 of Learning for Sustainable Futures projects by December 2018
- Regularly report on progress at both Sustainability Strategy Group and Learning Teaching and Student Experience Committee
- Audit the amount of research undertaken at UW in sustainability to establish a benchmark by Summer 2019
Read the university's evaluation report here.
Education and learning projects
A curriculum audit was undertaken in 2010 and again in 2013 using the STAUNCH methodology. The results indicate that 34% of all modules for 2013/14 academic year are related to sustainability a 42% improvement comparing with 2010. Read the full report here.
A further audit was undertaken in April/May 2018 with a new bespoke audit tool which demonstrated the University curriculum scored 41/50 and research scored 44/50. A presentation explaining the methodology and results can be viewed here, and a copy of the full paper is here.
Changes to student and staff attitudes and behaviours 2015 to 2018 shows an overall improvement in knowledge, awareness and commitment. Read the report here.
Learning for Sustainable Futures program
Projects to further enhance embedding sustainability in the taught curriculum include Learning for Sustainable Futures program. Now in its fifth year, this scheme is a joint initiative between The Education Quality Unit and the Sustainability department, first developed at the University of Gloucestershire and has over 20 awards of around £3,000 to individuals or small teams for collaborative projects working across the organisation and the community to connect sustainability thinking and practice.
Students are co-creators on all projects, an example student presentation can be viewed here. An Institute of Sport and Exercise Science project gets local recognition. Student Katie Amey presented at Beyond Boundaries Learning and Teaching conference 2017. Presented at 2018 conference was a student lead project developing an innovative assessment for exploring Climate Change negotiations.
NUS Responsible Futures accreditation
The University and Students' Union were delighted to obtain the inaugural National Union of Students Responsible Futures accreditation in 2015 and have been reaccredited in July 2018 with an increased score. This demonstrates real action on education for sustainable development. and whole institution approach to sustainability and social responsibility.
Skills for Tomorrow
Institute of Education colleagues work with the sustainability department to help develop skills for sustainability in their students and school children across Herefordshire and Worcestershire, in an award-winning annual conference, Skills for Tomorrow Global and local businesses, share and develop their sustainability skills whilst working with school and university students on citizenship.
As one of the country’s major providers of education, training and research for the children’s workforce, the University of Worcester has signed up to the SDG Accord and have mapped our sustainability work to the Global Goals. Read about it here.
With the University of Michigan, we have undertaken a project to use data from both universities to cross-reference metrics to determine similarities and identify some common reporting themes. In addition, the students began to map the university metrics across the SDGs.
The pilot allowed students from both sides of the Atlantic to join a discussion around the metrics, reporting and data itself and ultimately get a sense of what universities, are doing to contribute positively to sustainability and the SDGs. Click here to view all UK university metrics developed in this project along with 20,000 companies on the same platform.
To support the teaching, research and community the University has developed a unique website www.susthingsout.com whose strapline is change today protect tomorrow and links curriculum, campus and community.
Download our full current qualitative and quantitative targets and progress against targets from Carbon Management & Targets page