The QAA/HEA ESD Guidance, titled Education for sustainable development: Guidance for UK higher education providers, was published in June 2014. It is a product of collaboration between the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) and the Higher Education Academy (HEA).
Aim and who it is for
The guidance aims to assist staff in UK higher education institutions in incorporating education for sustainable development (ESD) within the curricula of their respective disciplines.
This reference point for use in curriculum design, delivery and review is mainly targeted at academics, educational developers and programme leaders. However, it may also be of interest to those with responsibility for quality assurance and enhancement, and the management of teaching and learning.
Although this guidance relates primarily to undergraduate provision and assessment at Level 6, it may also be helpful to educators working at other levels (e.g. Level 5, including foundation degrees, and postgraduate). Moreover, it should be read in conjunction with the appropriate QAA subject benchmark statement.
Chapter B3 of the UK Quality Code for Higher Education (the Quality Code) on Learning and Teaching identifies education for sustainability (or ESD) as an educational theme that cuts across academic disciplines. This guidance therefore complements the Quality Code but does not form an explicit part of it.
Structure and content
The ESD guidance recognises that there are many ways in which ESD could be incorporated within the curricula and therefore it is not prescriptive about delivery. It only presents an outcomes-based framework for use in curriculum design, and general guidance on approaches to teaching, learning and assessment. Moreover, it is not specific to any particular degree programme or subject specialism.
The document comprises two main parts:
- The identification of graduate outcomes: What students will be able to know, understand and do after an appropriate period of learning
- A focus on teaching, learning and assessment: The ways in which educators can work with students to help them achieve and demonstrate the outcomes
How it was prepared
The guidance was prepared by an expert group drawn from the UK higher education community with expertise in ESD. The group was chaired by Professor James Longhurst and co-convened by Dr Laura Bellingham and Simon Kemp.
An earlier version of the guidance was subject to public consultation between November 2013 and January 2014.
For more information, please contact Dr Laura Bellingham L.Bellingham@qaa.ac.uk
Image adapted from the cover of the guidance.
QAA/HEA ESD Guidance document (PDF for free downloading) http://www.qaa.ac.uk/Publications/InformationAndGuidance/Documents/Education-sustainable-development-Guidance-June-14.pdf
Web page of the ESD Guidance document http://www.qaa.ac.uk/Publications/InformationAndGuidance/Pages/education-for-sustainable-development-guidance.aspx
Circular letter (Number CL 07/14) http://www.qaa.ac.uk/Publications/InformationAndGuidance/Documents/ESD-publication.pdf
ESD on the Higher Education Academy (HEA) website http://www.heacademy.ac.uk/education-for-sustainable-development
ESD posts on LinkedIn (#asiLI)
Why universities should lead their wider communities’ sustainability endeavours | Three reasons https://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20140606053309-101066234-why-universities-should-lead-their-wider-communities-sustainability-endeavours-three-reasons
LSBU MSc in Education for Sustainability | How it enriched my perspective http://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20140507110247-101066234-lsbu-msc-in-education-for-sustainability-how-it-enriched-my-perspective
A game of plates at ‘Growth vs. Earth’ Café | Who depends on whom? http://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20140407045738-101066234-a-game-of-plates-at-growth-vs-earth-caf%C3%A9-who-depends-on-whom?
Sustainability | A balancing act? Four of them? https://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20140409090334-101066234-sustainability-a-balancing-act-four-of-them
Making sense of sustainability (or sustainable development) | A look at seven definitions http://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20140414095133-101066234-making-sense-of-sustainability-or-sustainable-development-a-look-at-seven-definitions
Sustainability-oriented poetry | Ten unforgettable pieces from Byron to Tennyson http://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20140421183727-101066234-sustainability-oriented-poetry-ten-unforgettable-pieces-from-byron-to-tennyson
Sustainability-oriented quotes and sayings | Twenty gems from Native Americans to Einstein http://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20140524074906-101066234-sustainability-oriented-quotes-and-sayings-twenty-gems-from-native-americans-to-einstein
Related posts on The Sustainable University News & Info website (this website)
Online consultation on QAA/HEA draft guidance on ESD for UK higher education open until 3 January 2014 https://sunewsinfo.wordpress.com/2013/11/29/online-consultation-on-qaahea-draft-guidance-on-esd-for-uk-higher-education-open-until-3-january-2014-2/
QAA/HEA ESD Guidance Document for UK higher education goes under consultation https://sunewsinfo.wordpress.com/2013/11/07/qaahea-esd-guidance-document-for-uk-higher-education-goes-under-consultation/
New website: The Guide to Quality and Education for Sustainability in Higher Education https://sunewsinfo.wordpress.com/2012/12/13/new-website-the-guide-to-quality-and-education-for-sustainability-in-higher-education/
CONFERENCE: Quality Assurance, Enhancement and Education for Sustainable Development (ESD): Creating a Framework for Dialogue https://sunewsinfo.wordpress.com/2012/07/03/conference-quality-assurance-enhancement-and-education-for-sustainable-development-esd-creating-a-framework-for-dialogue/
Gloucestershire event | Turning tides in Education for Sustainability (EfS) across higher education https://sunewsinfo.wordpress.com/2014/06/25/gloucestershire-event-turning-tides-in-education-for-sustainability-efs-across-higher-education/
ESD London Conference | Sustainability is a core theme in higher education today and will remain so tomorrow, says VC LSBU https://sunewsinfo.wordpress.com/2014/06/15/esd-london-conference-sustainability-is-a-core-theme-in-higher-education-today-and-will-remain-so-tomorrow-says-vc-lsbu/
Informal communication has a key role in sustainability-oriented institutional change, says Green Academy Lead at Worcester https://sunewsinfo.wordpress.com/2014/06/02/informal-communication-has-a-key-role-in-sustainability-oriented-institutional-change-says-green-academy-lead-at-worcester/
Sustainability leadership is all around us, says Director SD at Canterbury Christ Church University https://sunewsinfo.wordpress.com/2014/05/21/sustainability-leadership-is-all-around-us-says-director-sd-at-canterbury-christ-church-university/
Disciplines speak ‘Sustainability’ in different languages, says ESD academic lead at Bristol https://sunewsinfo.wordpress.com/2014/05/15/disciplines-speak-sustainability-in-different-languages-says-esd-academic-lead-at-bristol/
Online learning is a driver for sustainability, says Dr Speight at HEA-Nottingham seminar https://sunewsinfo.wordpress.com/2014/03/10/online-learning-is-a-driver-for-sustainability-says-dr-speight-at-hea-nottingham-seminar/
ESD has made inroads in new pedagogical ideas in future flexible higher education – HEA report https://sunewsinfo.wordpress.com/2013/11/25/esd-has-made-inroads-in-new-pedagogical-ideas-in-future-flexible-higher-education-hea-report/
HEFCE London event: NHS Sustainable Development jab to higher education
Sustainable Lifestyles conference | Good life of the good person is only possible in a good society, says Prof Jackson https://sunewsinfo.wordpress.com/2014/06/09/sustainable-lifestyles-conference-good-life-of-the-good-person-is-only-possible-in-a-good-society-says-prof-jackson/
UNESCO World Conference on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) https://sunewsinfo.wordpress.com/2014/01/06/unesco-world-conference-on-education-for-sustainable-development-esd/
Five questions and 100 delegates from 15 countries: COPERNICUS conference on higher education, sustainability and ESD https://sunewsinfo.wordpress.com/2014/01/13/five-questions-and-100-delegates-from-15-countries-copernicus-conference-on-higher-education-sustainability-and-esd/
UNEP publishes Greening Universities Toolkit https://sunewsinfo.wordpress.com/2013/08/07/unep-publishes-greening-universities-toolkit/
Inaugural AGM of London RCE on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) https://sunewsinfo.wordpress.com/2013/04/04/inaugural-agm-of-london-rce-on-education-for-sustainable-development-esd/
HEA-NUS Report 2013: Student attitudes towards and skills for sustainable development https://sunewsinfo.wordpress.com/2013/10/03/hea-nus-report-2013-student-attitudes-towards-and-skills-for-sustainable-development/
NUS announces 25 Students’ Green Fund projects in England https://sunewsinfo.wordpress.com/2013/08/14/nus-announces-25-students-green-fund-projects-in-england/
London South Bank University (LSBU) in Africa: Education for Sustainability (EfS) Residential 2013 https://sunewsinfo.wordpress.com/2013/12/13/london-south-bank-university-lsbu-in-africa-education-for-sustainability-efs-residential-2013/
Gloucestershire workshop on Education for Sustainability in Higher Education
Delivering ESD and graduate attributes through Hybrid Problem-Based Learning
New TOOLKIT: Problem-Based Learning: A Case Study of Sustainability Education
Related posts on The Sustainable University Notes blog
Education’s role in addressing sustainability and ESD http://su-notes.blogspot.co.uk/2013/02/educations-role-in-addressing.html
Higher Education’s role in building a sustainable world http://su-notes.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/higher-educations-role-in-building.html
Pathways to a sustainable university http://su-notes.blogspot.co.uk/2013/07/pathways-to-sustainable-university.html
EDUCATION pathway to a Sustainable University (Part 1): curriculum content and delivery http://su-notes.blogspot.co.uk/2013/10/education-pathway-to-sustainable.html
Opportunities for integrating sustainability across curricula (Part 2 of EDUCATION pathway to a Sustainable University) http://su-notes.blogspot.co.uk/2013/10/opportunities-for-integrating.html
University of Planetshire approach to integrating sustainability across the curriculum (Part 3 of EDUCATION pathway to a Sustainable University) http://su-notes.blogspot.co.uk/2013/10/university-of-planetshire-approach-to.html
Outputs of the University of Planetshire Approach to integrating sustainability across the curriculum (Part 4 of EDUCATION pathway to a Sustainable University) http://su-notes.blogspot.co.uk/2013/11/outputs-of-university-of-planetshire.html
Will it work? – The University of Planetshire Approach to integrating sustainability across the curriculum (Part 5 of EDUCATION pathway to a Sustainable University) http://su-notes.blogspot.co.uk/2014/01/will-it-work-university-of-planetshire.html
Related posts on The Sustainable University Diary blog (ESD reflections)
The starting point of our sustainability crisis? http://esddiary.wordpress.com/2013/06/10/the-starting-point-of-our-sustainability-crisis/
Who depends on whom? A game of plates http://esddiary.wordpress.com/2013/07/08/who-depends-on-whom-a-game-of-plates/
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