Education for Sustainable Development at Bristol

The University of Bristol is committed to offering Education for Sustainable Development to all of our students, and makes this public in our strategy. We are a signatory of the Sustainable Development Goals Accord, an institutional member of the Environmental Association of Universities and Colleges, and were the first UK university to declare a climate emergency, and see supporting our students to engage in the challenges humanity faces as key to delivering on these commitments.
We are delivering on this commitment in the following ways:

  1. We are embedding discipline-relevant aspects of education for sustainable development into every degree program. A previous review we conducted identified that 85% of our undergraduates have an opportunity to study some aspect of sustainability as part of their degree courses. We aim to further improve this, and are integrating ESD requirements into the university-wide curriculum review process.
  2. We are providing interdisciplinary educational options available to many of our students, most notably the Sustainable Development unit.
  3. We provide formal extra-curricular ESD opportunities to our students – most notably, the Bristol Futures Open Online Courses, which include Global Citizenship and Sustainable Futures, and form part of the Bristol PLUS Award scheme. The Sustainable Futures course is the winner of the 2019 UK and Ireland Green Gown Award for Next Generation Learning and Skills
  4. We are providing training for our staff in ESD, most notably through a module as part of the CREATE continuing professional development scheme for academics.
  5. We are supporting bottom-up educational initiatives by both staff and students through the Green Apple curriculum innovation scheme

Oversight of the ESD strategy lies with the University Sustainability Council, led by Pro Vice Chancellor Erik Lithander. Prof Chris Preist, Sustainable Futures theme lead, sits on this council and has prime responsibility for delivery of this strategy. We also believe in wide involvement of both staff and students in shaping its direction. This takes place through Peoples’ Assemblies and other networking and consultation events. 

The Green Apple Scheme

The Green Apple Scheme supports initiatives by staff and students to enhance Education for Sustainable Development in both the formal and informal curriculum. It provides grants of up to £1500, and is open for applications at any time, subject to fund availability. For more information, including how to apply, see the Green Apple scheme page

Did you know?

Over 85 per cent of undergraduates have an opportunity to study sustainability within their course. 

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