Universities as Beacons of Change: Education for Sustainability lighting up pathways for a new world
Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) is lightening up new pathways for alternative futures. In higher education, it invites students, staff and community partners to reflect on, rethink and reframe their priorities and professional responsibilities. However, embedding its principles and associated pedagogies in the curriculum is proving to be a slow and challenging process.
The UNESCO Global Action Programme (GAP) on ESD and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have acknowledged that there is a need to improve support for university educators to re-orient teaching and learning for sustainable development. This is because educators play a critical role in changing learning dynamics and influence education practice. There is evidence that shows that there is a clear lack of ESD training and professional development opportunities to help university educators develop leadership capabilities associated with ESD and re-think their teaching and research practices (UE4SD, 2014).
The UE4SD project, funded by the European Commission, has identified and documented a series of leading practices on professional development in ESD in Europe that can enlighten universities interested in rethinking the purpose of education and becoming beacons of social change (see UE4SD, 2015).
This international Conference asks questions such as:
- Q1. How can universities become beacons of change and good practice in ESD?
- Q2. What type of teaching approaches and professional skills are needed to enable university educators to develop ESD in their own organisations?
- Q3. How can we support university educators to develop professional competences in ESD?
- Q4. What are the connections between ESD, professional development and quality enhancement in higher education?
This event will bring together over 100 delegates from across the world. It welcomes participants interested in teaching & learning and sustainable development in higher education.
The programme includes keynotes, parallel sessions and a Welcome. Some of the confirmed keynote speakers are
- Prof Heila Lotz-Sisitka, Murray & Roberts Chair of Environmental Education and Sustainability at Rhodes University, South Africa
- Dr Alexander Leicht, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, Chief of Section, Education for Sustainable Development
- Dr Fabrice Millet, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, Chief, ASYCUDA Programme
- Adriana Valenzuela, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Secretariat, Focal Point - Education, Training and Public Awareness
- Dr Fernando Galván Reula, President of CRUE-Sostenibilidad and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Alcalá, Spain
- Prof Nick Foskett, Chair of Academic Board, University of Gibraltar and Former Vice-Chancellor of Keele University, UK
- Dr Rodrigo Lozano, Subject Editor for the Journal of Cleaner Production and Assistant Professor at the University of Utrecht, the Netherlands
- Prof Daniella Tilbury, Director of UE4SD and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Gibraltar, Gibraltar