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What is Sustainable Development?

A widely accepted definition is “development which meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”. Currently we are not even meeting the needs of the present let alone considering the needs of future generations.

The United Nations have declared 2005 – 2014 as the decade for Sustainable development, in an effort to reverse this problem.

Education for Sustainable Development

Sustainability is now recognised to be a key area of development for the education sector.  In particular, the policy and practice context points to the need to consider how best to embed it into higher education learning and teaching strategies and curricula.

The Higher Education Academy is currently undertaking a programme of development activity and capacity building so as to better assist institutions and subject communities in their development of curricula and pedagogy to equip students with the skills and knowledge to live and work sustainably. This recognises the importance of increasing 'sustainability literacy' among students and the growing demand for sustainability skills among employers. Current work includes a baseline research study to identify existing good practice in the sector.

Some key resources: (click here for a full list of resources)

Full list of from the Education for Sustainable Development section listed below.

Resource description originator
An introduction to sustainable development in the engineering curriculum : Engineering Subject Centre teaching guide
This resource is part of a series of Engineering Subject Centre teaching guides aimed at the busy engineering academic. This guide is intended to stimulate thought and consideration amongst those who:

* as members of teaching staff, may wish to introduce EngSD into their teaching
* as leaders of engineering programmes, may wish to consider...(more)

URL(s):
 • http://www.engsc.ac.uk/guides/introduction-to-sustainable-develo
 • http://www.engsc.ac.uk/downloads/scholarart/introduction-to-sust (downloadable pdf)

Resource description originator
Book review of 'Greener by degrees : exploring sustainability through higher education curricula' edited by Carolyn Roberts and Jane Roberts
This is an Engineering Subject Centre book review considering the target audience, content, style and format of 'Greener by degrees : exploring sustainability through higher education curricula' edited by Carolyn Roberts and Jane Roberts, published by the Centre for Active Learning (CeAL) at the University of Gloucestershire (2007) http://resources.glos.ac.uk/ceal/...(more)

URL(s):
 • http://www.engsc.ac.uk/er/bkrev/eachreview.asp?review=273
 • http://resources.glos.ac.uk/ceal/resources/greenerbydegrees/inde (Publisher's web page)

Resource description originator
Educating the global engineer : staff and student perspectives on embedding sustainable development practices into the engineering curriculum
This project was funded by the Higher Education Academy Engineering Subject Centre Mini-project scheme. The project began in March 2010 and was completed in June 2011. The project team were Catherine Montgomery, Roger Penlington, Noel Perera, Jenna Tudor and Angelina Wilson at Northumbria University. The students involved were from the Mechanical Engineering,...(more)

URL(s):
 • http://www.engsc.ac.uk/downloads/miniproject/110713-Educating th

Resource description originator
Embedding Sustainable Development into structural design teaching using sustainability appraisal tools
This is an Engineering Subject Centre Mini-Project report. The purpose of the project was to use sustainability assessment tools to help students of structural design develop a deeper understanding of the principles of sustainable development. This was achieved by explaining the principles of sustainability appraisal and commonly available methods,...(more)

URL(s):
 • http://www.engsc.ac.uk/downloads/miniproject/Arya-ESDstructural.

Resource description originator
Engineering Subject Centre Briefing Papers : Education for Sustainable Development : energy and energy systems edition
Education in Sustainable Development (ESD) is a key issue for engineering academics in higher education. The importance of its inclusion was clearly identified by the Engineering Council UK in 2004, with the publication of UK-SPEC stating that chartered engineers should “Undertake engineering activities in a way that contributes to sustainable...(more)

URL(s):
 • http://www.engsc.ac.uk/downloads/scholarart/esd-briefing-papersI

Resource description originator
The wider teaching of sustainability based upon student perceptions and the expectations of professional bodies : Engineering Subject Centre mini-project report
This Engineering Subject Centre Mini-Project report examines student views, perceptions, attitudes and experiences of the teaching of sustainability. The findings are considered alongside the expectations of professional bodies and those setting the agenda for sustainability within engineering education. The outcomes of the study are discussed in relation...(more)

URL(s):
 • http://www.engsc.ac.uk/downloads/scholarart/penlington-sustainab

Resource description originator
2008 review of education for sustainable development (ESD) in higher education (HE) in Scotland
This web page contains a link to the briefing and full report of the findings of a review of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) in Scottish Higher Education, carried out via two investigations during 2008. The research was organised by the Higher Education Academy (HE Academy) ESD Project, Universities Scotland (US) and HE Academy Scotland....(more)

URL(s):
 • http://www.heacademy.ac.uk/projects/detail/esd_SFCreview08

Resource description originator
Education for sustainable development (ESD) : strategic consultations among English HEIs
This web page contains a link to the briefing and full report of the findings of a review of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) in English Higher Education. This report contains the findings of a series of consultations and seminars at three English higher education institutions (HEIs), designed to identify the issues faced by HEIs with regard...(more)

URL(s):
 • http://www.heacademy.ac.uk/projects/detail/esd_EnglishHEIs

Education for sustainable development : how to make your teaching more sustainable
This webpage from the Higher Education Academy Centre for Bioscience provides links to a downloadable series of short information sheets to support teaching staff in making their teaching practices more sustainable. The sheets cover sustainability in lectures, practical sessions, tutorials, lectures, on fieldtrips and in the office or working area.They...(more)

URL(s):
 • http://www.bioscience.heacademy.ac.uk/resources/esd/howto.aspx

Resource description originator
Employable graduates for responsible employers
This Higher Education Academy webpage provides a summary of a research project that looked at the links between sustainability and employability in the graduate job market in relation to higher education teaching and learning. The report recommends how universities can change their culture, governance, career advice, teaching styles as well as employer...(more)

URL(s):
 • http://www.heacademy.ac.uk/projects/detail/esd/esd_employable_gr

  

 

  • Page Updated 01/02/2011