Systematizing integration of "sustainable development" in tertiary education

Project A2-5

Sustainable development is a generally accepted societal goal but opinions about how to achieve it are incredibly diverse, including in the world of science. In a few disciplines sustainable development has become a strong focus and even the object of research and training; but most disciplines consider it a goal to be achieved outside scientific activities and tertiary education. We disagree and believe that all disciplines can contribute to reflecting on the principles, values, and practices of sustainable development. But how can sustainable development be integrated in all curricula at a university and how can the contribution of each discipline to sustainable development be enhanced? Traditional educational settings make it difficult to do this, but experiences have been garnered and are worth sharing. The present project aims to find practicable, experienced-based ways of integrating sustainable development into all 40 Bachelor major curricula at the University of Bern. It will raise awareness of training opportunities in the field of sustainable development, seek to create a common understanding of the concept, increase ownership among different disciplines, and provide tools, guidelines, and support for implementing the integration of sustainable development in curricula. We will begin by taking stock of existing approaches at the University of Bern. Persons responsible for Bachelor majors will then reflect on the didactic requirements and organisational needs of integrating sustainable development in curricula. In a following phase adaptable training tools and guidelines will be drafted. These will then be shared in a university-wide consultation. Finally, the Centre for Development and Environment will support backstopping and coaching by experienced lecturers to ensure appropriate integration of sustainable development in other curricula.

Project leader
Dr. Karl Herweg
University of Bern
Centre for Development and Environment (CDE)

Involved universities
University of Bern

Project duration
01.08.2013 - 31.12.2016


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