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University’s sustainability learning project is showcased in new national education campaign

A groundbreaking University of Gloucestershire initiative in which students are involved in driving up sustainability learning standards for the Higher Education curriculum, is being showcased in a new national campaign.

The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) is featuring a collaborative project being led by the University, working with King’s College London and University of the Arts London, in its new campaign on the importance of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD).

The project is highlighted in a short film sharing how students can help to push for sustainability in mainstream courses by using quality principles. Acting as key influencers and assessors of course integration for sustainability, students can engage with their course teams to promote high standards that reflect their ambitions as future professionals.

Launched in February this year, the University’s project puts students at the forefront of a new conversation aimed at dynamic sustainability learning, using an innovative approach to assessing courses for sustainability already trialled at the University.

Working across three university settings, the project aims to help the sector move faster and deeper on curriculum change, and avoid the potential for unintentional curriculum greenwash in the eyes of students.

It followed research that found 93% of university students want to leave formal education with the knowledge and skills to address sustainability challenges, while 84% of university students expect sustainable development to be actively incorporated into all courses.

Dr Alex Ryan, Director of Sustainability at the University, said: “The project is enabling students to ask powerful questions about the depth of sustainability learning in their course experience, equipping academic teams with inclusive principles for getting to the heart of good curriculum design in sustainability, and driving up quality across the whole sector for sustainability learning.”

The University project is funded by the QAA, through its Collaborative Enhancement Projects scheme, and runs until June 2023.