Education for Sustainable Development in Higher Education: professional development opportunities

Tags: ESD | curriculum | HE | europe | professional development


This report has emerged from University Educators for Sustainable Development (UE4SD), which is a 3 year European Commission project funded through the Lifelong Learning Programme.

UE4SD seeks to improve professional development opportunities for university educators in Education for Sustainable Development (ESD). It supports the development of professional competences and academic leadership capabilities in ESD, to enable teaching staff to reorient curricula and prepare students for understanding and applying their professional and global responsibilities in sustainable development. The project is gathering best practice and developing new training resources and professional development activities for ESD in higher education.

This report analyses the findings of four regional reports, which summarized the national mapping exercises conducted by 53 UE4SD partner institutions in 33 countries across Europe. This process identified existing policy developments and strategic commitments for ESD in higher education across the different countries, and collected the examples of best practice in supporting professional development in this area.

The report clearly shows that ESD has gained importance in higher education across Europe and a growing number of universities have formal commitments to ESD as part of their corporate sustainability activities. It reflects on the status of ESD professional development, noting the variety of approaches in use, examples of innovative practice, and the need for clearer focus on professional competences in ESD.

Findings from the report will inform the next steps of the UE4SD project, which include the development of a leading practice publication and an online platform containing professional development resources, as well as the creation of a training academy for ESD in higher education.

Further information about UE4SD can be found here.