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Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) is a high priority across the HE sector, and strongly links to efforts to address the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.


Higher education providers can support this aim by embedding ESD within all taught courses. Academic quality processes play a key part in this, by potentially including requirements, prompts, checklists and signposting of support and opportunities in relation to ESD. Such processes are wide-ranging and include programme reviews, course (re)accreditations and course representative training/engagement. 


Whilst a wide range of supporting materials which define ESD and share how it can be pursued is available for a UK audience (most notably the Education for sustainable development guidance and accompanying resources produced by AdvanceHE and QAA), there remains a gap around offering specific examples, adaptable templates and advice on how this agenda can be reflected in academic quality processes.


This project addresses that gap by bringing together ten institutions that are committed to working collaboratively to develop and enhance a range of ESD related academic quality processes which encompass student voice mechanisms and recognise students as co-creators.


The lead institution and seven of the partners all work as partnerships within Responsible Futures, which brings together universities and their Student Unions (SUs) to address ESD at a whole institution level, working with the student-led charity SOS-UK.


The project team will co-develop a resource that will make the alignment of ESD to staff and student academic quality processes more straightforward to adopt, by providing adaptable templates and a range of institution-specific approaches which will help to inform future practices.

Project lead:

De Montfort University

Project partners:

Manchester Metropolitan University, University of Exeter, University of Derby, University of Leicester, Coventry University, Cardiff University, University of Worcester, University of Bath and University of Strathclyde

Other Collaborative Enhancement Projects

QAA supports a number of projects every year, covering a range of topics and interest areas. Each is led by a QAA Member, working in collaboration with other members institutions. You can find more information on all projects, and access resources and outputs, on our website.