The Worcester education for sustainable development model follows several strands and has been developed following the Advance HE Green Academy programme.

The Ƶ of Worcester was one of the first universities to follow the Green Academy change programme. Read the .

The Ƶ  includes a commitment to ‘Education for Sustainable Futures’ and progress is reported on regularly to Academic Board via the Learning Teaching and Student Experience Committee. The Director of Quality and Educational Development is a member of the Sustainability Strategy Committee.

The expectation to embed ‘Education for Sustainable Futures’ in all courses is part of the ,  and  processes. ‘Social Responsibility’ is one of the five Graduate Attributes to be embedded in all university courses and curricula. To support this work from 2021–22 the Ƶ wide professional development programme ‘Learning Design for Teaching Excellence’ has offered bookable staff workshops on ‘Embedding Education for Sustainable Development in your course’. These workshops are available for all School staff or course teams and align with the Learning and Teaching Strategy Implementation Plan.

You can also read a at the Ƶ of Worcester conducted by the National Union of Students SOS UK annually and the Students’ Union and students reaction to these reports. 

 

SDG Teach In Leaderboard

The Ƶ participates annually in the SOS-UK SDG Teach In campaign which calls on educators to pledge to include the UN Sustainable Development Goals into their teaching, training, learning and assessments. In 2024, the Ƶ again finished in the top 10 overall for the number of educators participating. .

The Ƶ’s commitments to sustainability are also evident in its Research and Knowledge Exchange Strategy, which identifies ‘Sustainable Futures’ as a key global research challenge and an area of strength and focus for research and knowledge exchange at Worcester.  The Sustainability Strategy Committee reports regularly to the Research and Knowledge Exchange Committee.  Research deeply informs teaching and learning at the Ƶ, with many opportunities for students to engage in sustainability research projects (see some examples below).

Education and learning SMART targets

Our current targets and some examples of how we are going to achieve them can be accessed through the sustainability targets document.

Education and learning projects

A bespoke tool for benchmarking sustainability in the curriculum and research was developed in 2019 and you can . This mapped the university’s curriculum to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

Worcester’s Business School have also mapped courses and modules to the SDGs as part of their . A further Student’s as Partners (SAPs) project has sought to build on this work and review different frameworks for mapping Ƶ of Worcester courses to the SDGs and our Graduate Attributes.

 

2024 RF audit group photo

Learning for Responsible Futures program

Projects to further enhance embedding sustainability in the taught curriculum include the Learning for Responsible Futures program. This scheme is a joint initiative between The Education Quality Unit and the Sustainability Department and has given over 20 awards of around £2,000 to small teams for collaborative projects working across the organisation and the community to connect sustainability thinking and practice.

Students are co-creators on all projects, and you can see some example student presentations.

More student led research projects:

Students engage in a range of educational projects around sustainability issues, using the university and the city as a ‘living lab’.  Other examples of some recent projects include,

responsible futures

NUS Responsible Futures accreditation

The Ƶ and Students’ Union were delighted to obtain the inaugural National Union of Students  accreditation in 2015 and we were reaccredited fifth time in June 2024. This demonstrates real action on education for sustainable development and whole institution approach to sustainability and social responsibility. 

In our June 2024 Audit Report, one of our student auditors said: 

“I think they can communicate more about these massive initiatives and opportunities they put on for us. I am a commuter which might impact my experience, but didn't see last year, how seriously the university really takes sustainability, I think everyone should understand this."

Read our 2022-2024 action plan to learn how the Students’ Union and Ƶ worked in partnership to continuously improve between the 2022 and 2024 audits. Our 2024 audit took place in June, we are awaiting a report from this, due in August.

Green Impact

greenimpact

Students can get paid to work alongside university staff teams helping to create bespoke projects and ideas revolving around sustainability themes which fit the work of their departments or services. For more information on how to get involved or about our projects visit our .

SDG Accord

As one of the country’s major providers of education, training and research for the children’s workforce, the  has signed up to the  and have mapped our sustainability work to the . Read about it here.

Susthingsout 

To support the teaching, research and community the Ƶ has developed a unique website, , whose strapline is change today protect tomorrow and links curriculum, campus, and community.

The SDG logos for 4.Quality Education, 11. Sustainable Cities and Communities and 13. Climate Action