Open access web-based application to retrieve climate and environmental sustainability courses and programs, as well as professors with proven expertise in this field across Belgian Universities.
Climate and environmental sustainability have become a major concern for youths, as confirmed by a large-scale survey we have conducted amongst Belgian university students. Yet, we found that very few graduation programs in Belgian Universities tackle climate and environmental sustainability. As a result, the number of graduated students who receive a master-level education on these topics is very low, in comparison with the up-coming environmental challenges our societies are facing.
In addition, a survey conducted amongst professors indicated that knowledge in these fields is quite fragmented, and professors have little visibility on their peers with education expertise on climate and environmental sustainability, which limits trans-disciplinary approaches. Furthermore, whenever professors are willing to tackle these topics within their courses,they often face the need of finding support or guidance from peers who have already taken this step. In this context, we have developed a simple web-based application that enables to identify climate and environmental sustainability courses, programs and professors with proven education expertise in this field.This application crawls the universities websites to retrieve course descriptions and uses an algorithm to analyze their content. The targeted users are: future students looking for programs or universities that addresses best their desire to be educated on climate and environmental sustainability, institutional heads of education programs requiring efficient mapping of courses, students seeking for professors, or professors seeking for peers with educational expertise in these areas.
We believe our application will help students to fulfill their desire to take the courses that educate them best on climate and environmental sustainability, it will help program leaders and decision makers building more ambitious training programs by offering a quantitative mapping tool for benchmarking, trending and long-term evaluation, and lastly help professors finding the GO TO peers to step in climate and environmental sustainability teaching.
We plan on reporting our study out to Belgian University leaders and politicians and advocate for ambitious transdisciplinary education programs on environmental sustainability, enabling students for the coming environmental challenges.