Comenius University in Bratislava (UKB) is the oldest (founded in 1919) and biggest university in the Slovak Republic with a full range of science and humanities disciplines taught at 13 faculties. UKB has around 28,000 students at all three levels of study of which 21,000 are full time students and 1,900 students are foreign students from almost 80 countries. UKB has outstanding scientific institutions and is active in various areas through Centres of Excellence and national and international science projects.
Sustainable development has had a long tradition at UKB as one of priorities in research and UKB´s employees have cooperated in the processes of developing relevant strategic documents dealing with sustainable development (SD)
The Faculty of Natural Sciences Comenius University (FNS UKB) is the oldest (founded in 1940), largest and most comprehensive natural sciences faculty in Slovakia. FNS UKB is divided into 5 scientific sections: Biology, Geography, Geology, Chemistry and Environmental Sciences. The FNS UKB offers 12 bachelor, 31 master, and 34 doctoral accredited study programmes. Currently there are 1159 students enrolled in bachelor degree programmes and 648 master students in master level programmes (December, 2011). In addition there are 318 internal PhD students and 75 external PhD students enrolled in the standard length of study.Thanks to the diverse spectrum of disciplines the researchers of the FNS CU are participating in different projects aimed at solving complex issues of SD. In 2011, FNS UKB completed 336 scientific-research or educational projects in total, supported by grants of domestic and foreign agencies. The accounting of the projects is realised in the frame of financial dept. of FNS in collaboration with the Centre of project cooperation. This Centre provides also methodological support for all types of projects.
Since the 1990s lectures and seminars on SD have been incorporated in selected study programmes at FNS UKB and have been integrated into relevant courses in all levels of study. FNS UKB supports SD in education and learning processes with providing interdisciplinary study programmes. At the bachelor level there is one obligatory course available since 2001: “SD and its regional dimension”. At the master level there is an innovated course performed by the Dept. of Landscape Ecology FNS UKB available since 2005: “SD from Theory to Practices”. At the Dept. of LE there are several courses for PhD students related to SD available since 1995 focused on: principles, criteria and indicators of SD and issues related with SD dimensions. On a regular basis some lectures are taught by guest lecturers, local and foreign experts from the field of SD.
Since 2005 teachers from the Dept. of LE have been cooperating in the National Action Plan for Education for Sustainable Development. In 2008 the teachers from the Dept. of LE with support of the Ministry of Education of the SR have initiated a survey on Education for SD at Slovak universities. The survey was carried out from December 2008 to February 2009 in the frame of all Slovak higher educational institutions (20 public, 3 state, and 10 private). The survey questionnaire was focused on education and research for SD, on management and capacity building of partnerships with other types of schools, scientific institutions and local communities. The results of the survey served as a base for updating and re-formulating the vision, activities, networking, better integrating principles, values and practices of SD into education and learning process in Slovakia for the second half of the UN Decade of ESDCurrently UKB (FNS) is the coordinator of EC Tempus Joint Project 511390: Environmental Governance for Environmental Curricula (2010-2014), where the following countries participate: Belarus, Russia and Ukraine. Since SD is a relevant topic in novel curricula, teachers from FNS UKB have applied their experience and innovative methods of education for SD in this Tempus project.
Role of UKB in the project:
- Coordinate the mapping exercise in Slovakia and complete the template.
- Assist in the development of an online platform of resources as well as get familiarised and review the online tool.
- Contribute to the bi-annual newsletters.
- Provide feedback to the Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) framework.
- Contribute to the dissemination and exploitation of the project outputs, outcomes and future network activities.
- Participate and actively contribute to the discussions generated in regional and annual meetings, seminars and conference.
Operational and financial management:
- The project team will coordinate the above administrative and academic project activities.
- Financial administration will be handled by project team who will liaise internally with the institution’s finance department.