Education for sustainable development

Education for sustainable development (ESD) is a vision of education which gives students the knowledge, skills, attitudes and values to become socially responsible global citizens and shape a sustainable future.

ESD covers the three pillars of sustainability – environmental, social and economic issues. At the University, we use the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a framework for our ESD activities and we have mapped our academic contribution to each of the Goals. These Goals act as a blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all by 2030.

We have established a Working Group which aims to contribute to the advancement of higher educational curriculum and informal learning opportunities that will integrate learning for sustainability into, professional, academic and personal practice through partnership, innovation and the sharing of information.

If you would like to find out more about the ESD, please get in touch.

Teaching sustainability within our courses

male lecturer talking to small group of studentsWe believe that the development of sustainable development curricula, innovative learning and teaching practices are essential components in the discovery of solutions to global challenges and are necessary for preparing our students as members of a global community.

In the 2019/20 NUS Skills Survey, 81% of our students said that they want sustainable development to be incorporated into courses so we aim to ensure all our students have the opportunity to have sustainability-related learning in their courses, as part of the University’s Climate Change Strategy.

All undergraduate programmes have been asked to identify existing sustainability teaching, as part of the University's curriculum transformation project and the programme approval process. Academics have identified core and optional modules that have intended learning outcomes that align to one or more of the 17 SDGs.

Top 5 Sustainability Development Goals in our undergraduate teaching:

This work has identified that 98% of our undergraduate courses (2019/20 entry) have teaching aligned to the SDGs so the majority of our undergraduate students are learning about sustainable development as part of their courses. Each undergraduate course webpage provides which SDGs are included in the course's teaching. Along with the curriculum, there are extra-curricular opportunities and real life projects that students can get involved in to extend and enrich their sustainability knowledge and skills.

Change for the Better

As Citizens of Change, we have a huge obligation to address climate change by reducing our negative environmental impact and investing in positive social change. We actively encourage all our staff, students and visitors to do their bit by making sustainable choices everyday. To help achieve this, the University has a number of resources and initiatives available including our Sustainability Development Goals, carbon literacy training, low carbon work places and greener labs.