Education for Sustainability in Higher Education: Achievements and Prospects

January is named after Janus, the Roman god of gateways, endings and beginnings so the timing of the conference, held on 8th January 2015 at Plymouth University, was an excellent opportunity to look back to what had been achieved in sustainability education at Plymouth and beyond. It was also a chance to explore and consider the future prospects and potential for ESD in higher education.   

January also saw the end of the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) and the ten-year anniversary of HEFCE’s influential policy document 'Sustainable Development in Higher Education'. Closer to home it marked ten years since the Centre for Sustainable Futures (CSF) was established here at Plymouth University, with the ambitious goal to embed sustainability across University policy and practice, particularly in teaching and learning. This timely conference brought together, showcased, and celebrated achievements in sustainability-related teaching and learning, Continuing Professional Development (CPD), pedagogic research, resource development, hybrid learning space design, whole institutional change, and critical perspectives on the field of ESD.


Conference photos and images

  • Visual minutes of the conference proceedings created by Eleanor Beer

    Education for Sustainability in Higher Education (ESD) 2015

    Visual minutes of the conference proceedings created by Eleanor Beer
  • Logo

    Education for Sustainability in Higher Education (ESD) 2015

    Logo
  • Paul Warwick (Plymouth) giving a roundtable presentation

    Education for Sustainability in Higher Education (ESD) 2015

    Paul Warwick (Plymouth) giving a roundtable presentation
  • Peter Vujakovic (Canterbury Christchurch) roundtable presentation

    Education for Sustainability in Higher Education (ESD) 2015

    Peter Vujakovic (Canterbury Christchurch) roundtable presentation
  • Zoe Robinson (Keele) giving a roundtable presentation

    Education for Sustainability in Higher Education (ESD) 2015

    Zoe Robinson (Keele) giving a roundtable presentation
  • Welcome

    Education for Sustainability in Higher Education (ESD) 2015

    Welcome

Following an enthusiastic response to the call for abstracts earlier in 2014, the conference featured a diverse range of research papers, posters, and roundtable presentations from academics and practitioners across the UK and beyond. The conference was arranged around three overarching themes:

ESD Pedagogy: Criticality, Creativity and Collaboration

What are the teaching and learning processes that enable students to (i) develop their own capacity to think critically and creatively in the face of global sustainability challenges and (ii) act collaboratively in ways that pursue more hopeful and sustainable futures?

Innovative Learning Spaces for ESD

What are the physical environments that provide opportunities for new forms of sustainability education to flourish? What lies beyond the lecture hall that is conducive to student learning through inquiry-based, active, participatory, interdisciplinary and experiential methods?

Towards the Sustainable University

What are effective approaches for leading institutional change, organisational learning, and staff CPD towards sustainability?

What delegates said....


"Good Work Plymouth! Thanks so much for a great conference!" Helen Puntha, Nottingham Trent University

"This was one of the most enjoyable conferences I have ever been to - the varied programme and formats of information sharing meant that I was kept engaged and energised throughout the day.  I was exhausted afterwards though!" Kim Croasdale, Dissertations for Good

"I got a great lift from the event - inspiring and practical." John Leah, University of Worcester