Saturday, 5 October 2013

HEFCE Project Legacy

Dear Colleagues


re: HEFCE Leadership, Governance and Management project: Leading Curriculum Change for Sustainability


We would like to share news with you regarding outcomes from the HEFCE LGM-funded UK project on ESD and Quality, which completed in autumn 2012.


At its final meeting, the project’s Expert Advisory Board recommended that the project legacy should be developed through: i) an inter-agency event to promote greater sector-wide collaboration on ESD; ii) contributions as appropriate to QAA’s work to develop guidance and frameworks for ESD; and iii) strategic dissemination of project insights both in the UK and internationally.


In response to this, the following activities have taken place:


  1. QAA’s national guidance on ESD: members of the project team were invited to join the working group convened by QAA and HEA to develop national guidance for teaching staff on ESD - and to present insights from the HEFCE LGM project as part of the external consultation event for this guidance, which takes place on 5th November in Birmingham.


  1. HEA Conference and UK Teaching and Learning Forums: we hosted a discussion panel at the annual HEA Conference in July, themed around students participation in shaping the curriculum and featuring the HEFCE project work alongside the influential NUS and HEA research findings over the past 3 years into student demand for ESD. This was well attended and most importantly had strong contributions from excellent student panellists: Dom Anderson from the NUS and Mike Williamson from sparqs (Student Participation in Quality Scotland). Project partners have also presented at conferences held by the QAA, Association for Learning and Development in HE, Society for Research into HE, Leadership Foundation for HE, Royal Geographical Society and EAUC.


  1. International Discussions: We had opportunities to bring the project issues to a wider international audience at the World Environmental Education Conference in Marrakech in June, where we organised a roundtable session to debate issues around ESD and quality with perspectives from Greece (with Prof Michael Scoullos) and Spain (with Prof Javier Benayas del Alamo) and a range of contributors from different regions – with lively discussion and plenty of opportunity to share materials and ideas. In addition, Mr Anthony McClaran, CEO of the UK QAA, presented the project at the international quality assurance agencies conference (INQAAHE) in Taiwan this year. The level of international interest in this strategic ESD agenda at both events was notable and the project features in a forthcoming UNU publication on the transformation of HE towards sustainable development linked to the Rio+20 Treaty on HE.


4.       New Publication on ESD and Quality: the project team was invited to contribute to a special issue of the Curriculum Journal, titled Education for Sustainable Development as the DESD Approaches 2014: What Have We Achieved and Ways Forward? This article is now published and can be viewed at: The citation is: Ryan, A & Tilbury, D (2013) “Uncharted waters: voyages for Education for Sustainable Development in the higher education curriculum”, Curriculum Journal Volume 24, Issue 2


The HEFCE project has been part of an increasing and encouraging momentum around ESD in the HE sector in the last few years, with interest growing among all key sector agencies. We look forward to the outcomes of the QAA consultation and other key initiatives such as the NUS Green Fund projects, in helping to raise the stakes in this important area of work.



With best wishes,


Alex and Daniella


On behalf of the HEFCE LGM project team partners:

John Blewitt

Martin Haigh

Harriet Sjerps-Jones

Pauline Ridley

Marie Harder



Professor Daniella Tilbury

Director of Sustainability


Dr Alex Ryan

Associate Director of Sustainability (Academic)


DH204 Dunholme Villa, Park Campus

University of Gloucestershire GL50 2RH

Telephone: 01242 715416 or 01242 577976 (UK)


The future of quality Higher Education includes the Sustainability imperative:


Latest Publication:

Ryan, A & Tilbury, D (2013) “Uncharted waters: voyages for Education for Sustainable Development in the higher education curriculum”

Curriculum Journal, Volume 24, Issue 2:


Online Resource:

Guide to Quality and Education for Sustainability in HE:




David Andrew, 
HEA CPD Manager
Senior Tutor

Centre for Academic and Professional Development
Queen Mary University of London

Mile End, London E1 4NS



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