HEFCE LGM PROJECT OUTCOMES: Education for Sustainable Development and Curriculum Quality
We have recently completed a national HEFCE funded project which introduced Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) into education quality agendas. The project successfully engaged with key sector agencies and stakeholders in learning and teaching, and involved five institutions working to progress ESD as an institution-wide curriculum priority.
We would like to share the significant outcomes from this work, which have contributed to a step change in sector attention and inter-agency discussion around the place of ESD as part of the essential contribution that HE can make towards sustainable development, through curriculum innovation and enhancement of the student experience.
1. Online Guide to Quality and Education for Sustainability in HE:
The core output is the online Guide to Quality and Education for Sustainability in HE, which is now live at: http://efsandquality.glos.ac.uk/. The Guide contains video clips, insights, tips and adaptable tools for institutions to support the use of EfS as a cross-cutting curriculum agenda. The Guide combines lessons from the five institutional pilot projects with a sector-wide view of how ESD connects with quality assurance and enhancement in HE, drawing on the guidance of key partner agencies and expert advisers. The aim in creating this resource was to share practice and insights about how to bring ESD to life systemically in complex HE institutions, with consideration of some of the academic and leadership issues involved.
2. Quality Assurance Agency actions:
The QAA has played a critical role in the project, moving ESD more deeply into mainstream education discussions in HE, and has taken two significant steps to advance thinking around ESD. It has included ESD in the UK Quality Code for HE, providing its first point of entry into mainstream quality frameworks as part of the strategic approach to learning and teaching expected of all HE institutions. It has also commissioned the development of a QAA stakeholder-led guidance briefing on ESD, which will be an important tool to improve understanding and engagement, for national subject benchmarking committees, professional bodies, external examiners, directors of learning and teaching, and collaborative partners.
3. Inter-agency collaboration on ESD:
Through the project work at sector level, connections have been forged with key forums and agencies connected with the curriculum, leadership, student perspectives and professional practice. Several actions will follow, to take the next steps in engaging stakeholders with ESD in relation to their core areas of work. These national agencies and funding councils plan to engage collaboratively on ESD to continue this line of work, with the intention to hold a sector-wide event in 2013.
We hope that colleagues will value the development work carried out through this project and we would be glad to have your feedback on the online Guide.
With best wishes,
HEFCE LGM Project Team: Daniella Tilbury, Alex Ryan, John Blewitt, Martin Haigh, Harriet Sjerps-Jones, Pauline Ridley, Marie Harder
Quality Assurance Agency Lead: Anthony McClaran
Higher Education Academy Lead: Simon Kemp
HEFCE Lead: Andrew Smith
Dr Alex Ryan (Project Manager)
Associate Director of Sustainability (Academic)
University of Gloucestershire
The future of quality Higher Education includes the Sustainability imperative:
New! Guide to Quality and Education for Sustainability: http://efsandquality.glos.ac.uk/
Professor Debby Cotton
Head of Educational Development with Pedagogic Research,
Pedagogic Research Institute and Observatory (PedRIO)
Devon PL4 8AA
Follow me on Twitter: @profdcotton