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. Read the University of Worcester's evaluation report.

Education and learning targets

Education and learning SMART targets for 2020/21

Our targets for this year are:

  • Retain Responsible Futures accreditation, and maintain score at the next reaccreditation Summer 2022

How are we going to achieve these targets?

  • Launch call five of Learning for Responsible Futures projects by Summer 2021
  • Implement all recommendations from Responsible Futures third audit report by next audit date, July 2022
  • Regularly report on progress at Sustainability Strategy Group, Learning Teaching and Student Experience and Research and Knowledge Exchange Committees.
  • Submit data for the second THE University impact League by December 2020
  • Pilot in a minimum of three courses ideally established, re-evaluated and new, an exercise to map the content to the SDGs.
  • Increase the participation in NUS SDG teach-in by 10% from 2019-20 levels on the number of students engaged.
  • From the pilot baseline year (2019-20) increase the participation of students undertaking the Sustainability Literacy Test (SuLiTest) by 15%.

Education and learning projects

Student 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 bespoke tool for benchmarking sustainability in the curriculum and research has been developed since 2018 and the results and presentation about the tool can be read here.

Changes to student and staff commitment to sustainability have been tracked in over years 2017-2019, positively showing there has been an increase with 91% of student participants claiming they are very or somewhat committed; this is a rise of 6% from the year before.  Read the full report here.

Learning for Responsible Futures program


Projects to further enhance embedding sustainability in the taught curriculum include Learning for Responsible Futures program. Now in its seventh year, this scheme is a joint initiative between The Education Quality Unit and the Sustainability department, and has over 20 awards of around £2,000 to 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 for the third time in July 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.

SDG Accord

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 46,000 companies on the same platform. 


To support the teaching, research and community the University has developed a unique website 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.

The SDG logos for 4.Quality Education, 11. Sustainable Cities and Communities and 13. Climate Action