Discussions for UNESCO'S Futures of Education

15th September 2020

Education plays a key role in climate action. Current and future leaders, and communities in general, need education to understand the complex moving parts of climate crisis, whose consequences offer a myriad of social and environmental challenges. Fortunately, efforts are underway to reform education for a sustainable future, including UNESCO's Futures of Education initiative. 

This report summarises discussions amongst four groups of 38 UK university and college students on the future of education amid the climate crisis for UNESCO's Futures of Education Initiative. The groups were held, and discussions analysed by the Climate Commission for UK Higher and Further Education. 

This overview is useful in understanding the personal and academic priorities' of students and in gauging next steps to reforming education amid the climate crisis, as laid out by students. This report been shared with UNESCO to feed into their upcoming report on global education policy.

The discussion was centred on three topics:

1. Students' hopes and concerns for the future
2. Students' ideas of the broad purposes of education in relation to concerns and hopes for the future
3. How students believe education should change to address these concerns, hopes and purposes

Various ideas were discussed by engaged and passionate students from a variety of cultural and academic backgrounds. In the discussions, education was understood as a broad term encompassing informal and formal learning, as well as learning for all ages. This report summarises the discussions - please see page 3 for a summary of topic.

Overall, the discussions illustrated the urgency for education to adequately preparing students for a changing world. The discussions also illuminated the enthusiasm, willingness and selflessness of students to work to ensure a sustainable and just future for all. 

Discover more here.
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