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Education for sustainable development case studies

Our academics at BU teach students about sustainable development in the context of their courses. Below are some examples of education for sustainable development delivered to BU students across the University.

Faculty of Management

Dr Sean Beer teaches his MSc Hotel and Food Services Management and MSc Events Management students about applying the ‘triple bottom line’ standard approach for full cost accounting developed by the United Nations International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives. He teaches his students to use the approach in the context of food and drink considering political, economic, social, technological, environmental and gastronomic aspects. Students learn about sustainability in a broad context and gain skills in holistic thinking using a systems approach.

Dr Nicole Ferdinand, Dr Nigel Williams and Liz Gordon teach MSc Events Management students about sustainability by asking them to stage live events which they then evaluate using holistic techniques such as the triple bottom line. These events must show consideration to the long term needs of society and where an event is for a charity, it must both attract attendees and draw attention to the charitable cause. Students learn problem solving and critical thinking skills and how to design sustainable events which demonstrate cultural sensitivity.

Faculty of Science and Technology

Professor Chris Shiel and Dr Elena Cantarello teach BSc Geography students about how sustainable development can be achieved in the context of a globalising world. Students are taught to analyse, interpret and evaluate current issues such as the potential to develop alternative relationships between people and the environment. Students learn futures thinking, analytical skills, and decision making.

Professor Adrian Newton, Professor Chris Shiel, Dr Elena Cantarello and Dr Kathy Hodder teach on the MSc Green Economy programme, a distance learning course designed to teach exclusively about sustainable development and how it can be achieved. Students learn about a range of topics including carbon management, renewable energy, biodiversity and social justice. Critical thinking is at the heart of the programme but students also develop problem solving skills, comprehension of scientific information and data and professional skills through a work-based placement.

Faculty of Media and Communications

James Fair and Annie East encourage their MA Producing for Film and Television students to think about how they are able to make filming more sustainable. Students have come up with ideas such as the use of LED lights to save energy, using battery power checkers to prevent wasted batteries, using electric or hybrid vehicles for travelling to film locations, recycling props in charity shops and reducing printing as much as possible. Sharing this best practice will allow students to enter the workplace with an understanding of sustainability and the competency to apply in in their future roles.