This major new Guidance document supports universities in incorporating Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) within their curricula and offers context, ideas and examples for staff and students.
This is the second edition of the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) and Advance HE ESD Guidance for Higher Education Providers, first published in 2014. This UK wide guidance has been prepared by representatives of the HE, business and student communities with expertise in education and sustainable development. A draft version was subject to sector-wide consultation from November 2020 to January 2021. The guidance is intended to be of practical help to all higher education providers working with students and staff to foster their knowledge, understanding and skills in the area of sustainable development. It recognises that there are many ways in which this may be achieved and is not prescriptive about delivery. Instead, it offers many authentic ideas and examples intended to inspire, inform and enable ESD to be introduced and used in the curriculum design process, and for facilitating ESD as central to curricula framework and part of a whole-institution approach. Following the launch in March 2021, QAA and Advance HE, in collaboration with UK universities, are now developing a range of case studies and webinars to further support academic staff in implementing ESD within their curricula, thereby building on the ideas set out in the document in ‘real life’ contexts. This guidance provides examples for those new to ESD and those with expertise looking to expand their consideration of ESD. It is also of value to senior management teams, those with responsibility for quality assurance and enhancement, and staff involved in directing teaching and learning. It may also prove useful to staff responsible for extracurricular activities. The guidance is divided in to four sections, Section 1 provides an introduction to ESD including discussion of the SDGs. Section 2 discusses how to get started with ESD, while recognising the importance of strategic, institution-level commitment. Section 3 focuses on teaching, learning and assessment approaches for ESD. It introduces the key competencies for sustainability, course and module learning outcomes for ESD and guidance about developing learning environments to support ESD. Section 4 provides users with a range of references and resources.