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Educating the next generation

Education for sustainable development

About education for sustainable development (ESD)

Sustainable development is about improving the quality of life for everyone and ensuring that we do not detract from other peoples' enjoyment of the planet, now or in the future.

ESD aims to raise awareness of sustainable development and to allow every human being to acquire the knowledge, skills, attitudes and values necessary to shape a sustainable future. The concept of sustainable development continues to evolve and a big part of the ESD learning process is to debate and explore these new concepts as they evolve.

Through ESD students should feel empowered to engage with democratic processes and to lead change in those spheres in which they can influence better outcomes.

The key roles of ESD are:

  • Play a transformative role in society by increasing awareness of global issues and developing personal capacity for change
  • Foster the values, beliefs and behaviours that are important to a sustainable future – developing global citizens
  • Enable us to understand how our lives are linked with others throughout the world
  • Enable learners to make decisions that consider the long-term future of all communities, protecting the natural environment while ensuring social justice and economic success.

Alongside its teaching, BU is directly involved in research for sustainable development through our Centre for Ecology, Environment and Sustainability.

ESD at Bournemouth University

At BU we continue to explore new ways to inspire our staff and students to understand how knowledge of Sustainable Development is essential in helping create a just and fair society.  Our Centre for Excellence in Learning (CEL) continue to lead the way in providing a framework to track progress with embedding sustainability in the curriculum and in the last year we have:

  • Offered the NUS Dissertations for Good initiative to our students to help them find sustainability project
  • Recognised examples of best sustainability educational practice in the second annual Faculty competition
  • Delivered a sustainability module as part of the PGCert programme (all staff training to become a lecturer must complete this course)
  • Delivered a sustainability workshop to student reps
  • Signed up to using the on-line Sulitest Sustainable Literacy Test and prepared to roll it out in 2017/18.

Take a look at the CEL blog for more information.

Students on the MSc Green Economy course complete an assignment in which they critically evaluate the BU Carbon Management Plan and make suggestions for improvement. This assignment gives students experience of reviewing a real working document outlining environmental management in a large organisation. It also gives them an insight into the work that goes into managing our environmental impacts at BU. Read more examples of ESD at BU.

ESD staff champion

Professor Chris Shiel has championed ESD at BU for the past ten years, read more about Professor Shiel.