Skip to main content Accessibility Statement


This project team will work with students to co-create an authentic, practice-led and inclusive set of quality principles that support the implementation of Education for Sustainability and drive curriculum quality for sustainability across the Higher Education sector – whilst calling out the growing potential for ‘curriculum greenwash’.


The project will have a strong focus on developing graduates who can lead change for sustainability, not just reproduce knowledge. It will also push the sector to move sustainability education out of the margins and beyond simply badging course content with ‘single-issue’ UN Global Sustainable Development Goals.


Working with students in all three partner institutions, the project will draw on best practice and an assessment approach developed at University of Gloucestershire. Students will test and refine the principles in different university settings and courses, aiming to close gaps between current learning experiences and judging whether they align with what students most value for their development and future lives and careers.

We invited colleagues working on this project to share with us what meaningful ESD looks like from their perspective and how their work will better enable ESD.

The outputs of the project include:

  • a blueprint and method of Education for Sustainability assessment that can be applied to any course
  • tools to empower students to ask quality questions of courses and call out ‘curriculum greenwash’
  • the publication of a Framework usable by students and academic teams to use this method, and support quality Education for Sustainability integration
  • a webinar to disseminate findings to QAA Members.


We are excited to be working on this critical issue with our students and partners at University of the Arts, London, and King’s College London, both known for their sustainability innovations. Our University has been a disruptor in pushing to mainstream transformational course experiences that can help to move the needle for sustainability in society. But our sector needs to do more than just experiment now – we need to grasp what matters most to students and what counts as powerful sustainability education – and to partner with our students to drive quality forward.

Dr Alex Ryan
Director of Sustainability, University of Gloucestershire

Project lead:

University of Gloucestershire

Project partners:

University of the Arts, London and Kings College London

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.